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'Strikes integrity a bit': R&A called to rule on Colsaerts penalty

16 November 2018 5:16 AM
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Australian Open organisers consulted The R&A in the middle of the night in Europe for guidance on the Colsaerts decision, which eventually cleared the Belgian of any wrongdoing.

The series of events started when Colsaerts earlier called the group's rules officials to inspect the bunker at the first hole after his first wedge attempt failed to clear the lip, the ball rolling back towards his feet.

In the act of trying to avoid the ball, Colsaerts suspected his club grazed the sand which can trigger a penalty. But he was adamant it only happened in the motion of avoiding contact with his ball.

He later signed for a double bogey six, which was shortly after amended to a quadruple bogey eight and threatened Colsaerts' place in the field on the weekend.

The penalty was later rescinded as Colsaerts strode down the fairway on his second last hole of his morning round, a flurry of three birdies in his last four holes leaving him at two-under for the tournament and within striking distance of the leaders.

"This is probably one of the ones where I really had to plead my case," Colsaerts said. "I wasn't going to let this one go. It's one of those that touches your integrity a little bit.

"My first thought was, 'yeah, I've touched the sand. But in the motion of everything happening I have to call it up on myself'. It took a couple of hours was for me to understand what the decision was going to be.

"At one stage with the two shots [added to his score] I was three-over and fighting to make the cut. I needed to know what I had to do. They called the R&A and made a decision and I think they made the right one. I could have easily not seen anything, but I'm not that type of guy.


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