Golfer Jose Manuel Lara was thrown out of the European Tour's BMW International in Cologne after his caddie tried to hide one of his clubs in a bush.
Lara's caddie accidentally put 15 clubs in his employers' bag - one more than the permitted 14 - before he teed off in Thursday's opening round at Golf Club Gut Larchenof.
The bag man discovered his mistake on the second hole, but rather than come clean he decided to try and hide his blunder by dumping the extra club in a bush.
Lara's playing partners Damien McGrane and Peter Hedblom became suspicious when they noticed the caddie fighting his way into the bush with the bag still slung over his shoulder, and confronted him.
"They went and asked the chap 'What are you doing?' and he sort of fumbled out an answer saying 'I've got this wrong - I've done something bad. I wish it hadn't happened, etc etc'," said European Tour chief referee John Paramor.
"It was clear the club was out of the bag and in the bush at the time. He admitted it straight away and regretted his action."
Golfers incur a two-shot penalty per hole for carrying an extra club, up to a maximum of four shots, and Lara was initially handed that penalty. That turned the Spanish golfer's initial round of 69 into a 73 - bad enough to drop the player out of the top 20 after the first 18 holes, but the two-times European Tour winner still had a very decent chance of making the cut with a good second round on Friday.
But when the full story of the caddie's attempted subterfuge emerged, the Tour decided that a stiffer punishment had to be handed out. Lara was disqualified for his caddie's "serious breach of etiquette".
"It was clearly the caddie doing what he felt at the time was the right thing, but was clearly the wrong thing," Paramor said, adding that he was "perfectly satisfied that (Lara) had no knowledge of what was going on".
Under the rules of the game players are entirely responsible for their caddie's actions, even if they are unaware of them, and the young lad's dreams of a lucrative career carrying clubs of Europe's best appear to have been dashed for good.
"He's kind of been asked not to come back and that's how the matter has been resolved," Paramor added.