Harrington disqualified from Abu Dhabi

Fri, 21 Jan 08:28:00 2011

Ireland's Padraig Harrington was disqualified from the Abu Dhabi Championship for signing an incorrect scorecard after inadvertantly moving his ball on a green during his first round.

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A television viewer phoned European Tour officials to explain they had noticed Harrington marginally knocking his ball forward on the par-three seventh green while replacing his marker during Thursday's first round.

The three-times major champion was playing the hole as his 16th having started on the back nine and eventually signed for a seven-under-par 65 to end the first day a stroke behind leader Charl Schwartzel.

As Harrington had signed for a 65 he is guilty under the Rules of Golf for signing for an incorrect score in that he should have called a two-stroke penalty on himself, for moving the ball.

"I didn't think it had moved but then I now get three days practice ahead of me which is something I will enjoy doing," he laughed.

"I had a 20-footer and when I was picking up my coin and I clearly hit my golf ball, as I brushed it with my hand when I was picking up my marker.

"I looked down at the time and I established in the way I line up the golf ball that the ball had moved.

"When you look at TV footage it looks as though the ball rocks forward and then in slow motion it's pretty clear the ball has moved three dimples."

The incident only came to light early on Friday morning with Harrington due to commence his second round at 12.15pm (0815 GMT) local time.

It took officials more than an hour to study footage and assess Harrington's plight before he was informed of their decision.

Reuters

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