SIMON DYSON HAS received a suspended two-month ban from the European Tour for intentionally tapping down a spike mark on the line of a putt.
The Englishman was disqualified from the BMW Masters in Shanghai in October, after signing for an incorrect score that failed to include a two-shot penalty for touching the line of his putt, and was subsequently charged with a “serious breach of the European Tour’s Code of Behaviour”.
Dyson protested his innocence by saying it “was in no way a deliberate act”, while conceding he deserved to be disqualified.
But the European Tour disagreed with his assertion, and handed out the suspended punishment on Thursday as well as imposing a fine of £30,000 plus costs.
A statement of the European Tour’s official website read: “The Panel held that charge to have been made out by the Tour. In particular, it found that: Mr Dyson’s action in touching the line of his putt was a deliberate one; that act was committed by him in the knowledge of the rule forbidding such an act; and his purpose in so acting was to improve his position on the green by pressing down a spike mark.
“The Panel decided as follows: to impose upon Mr Dyson a period of suspension from the Tour of two months, but to suspend its operation for a period of 18 months. The effect of this is that, if during that 18-month period, Mr Dyson commits any breach of the Rules of Golf, his case will be referred back to the Panel to determine whether in the circumstances the suspension should immediately become effective.
“If, however, at the end of that period, he has committed no such breach, then the threat of a suspension will fall away.
“(The panel has also decided) to fine Mr Dyson the sum of £30,000; to order Mr Dyson to pay the sum of £7,500 towards the Tour’s costs of these proceedings; Mr Dyson is to make such payments within 56 days.”
Dyson appeared before a three-person disciplinary panel at Wentworth, chaired by Ian Mill QC.