Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Simon Dyson to return despite looming 'ban' hearing

Penalty: Simon Dyson incurred a two-stroke forfeit in Turkey
Penalty: Simon Dyson incurred a two-stroke forfeit in Turkey

Simon Dyson will return to European Tour action this week despite facing the possibility of a ban.

The Yorkshireman has not played since his controversial disqualification from the BMW Masters in Shanghai last month.

With a disciplinary hearing to take place in December, he pulled out of the recent Turkish Airways Open but will feature in the South African Open at Ekurhuleni, Gauteng.

Dyson was disqualified in China after signing for a card on which he had failed to add a two-stroke penalty.

The 35-year-old was punished for touching the line of a putt on the eighth hole of his second round, an offence which was spotted by television viewers.

Dyson insisted his actions were an accidental mistake but he was charged with a serious rules breach, for which the most severe punishment could be a ban.

He has decided to put that aside for now to compete in South Africa, where he will be among the early starters, teeing off alongside home hopefuls James Kamte and Allan Versveld at 7.10 on Thursday, local time.

Although the 2013 Race to Dubai was won by Henrik Stenson less than a week ago, the tournament is the first of the 2014 series.

Stenson won last year but will not be returning to defend his title due to a wrist injury.

A lot of the focus at Glendower Golf Club this week will instead be on the South African players who make up the majority of the field.

Former US Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, the country's highest-ranked player at 22, has his sights set on taking the title for the first time.

The 29-year-old told reporters: "I want to win the SA Open, but I'm not going to put pressure on myself, that's unnecessary.

"If it doesn't happen now then I'll win it some other time.

"I know how to win but you can't get ahead of yourself. Being considered one of the favourites is a confidence boost and I can feed off others' confidence in me.

"I've prepared well and if I play well, then I know I can win."

The European Tour next week moves across South Africa to the Alfred Dunhill Championship in Malelane for another event in which Dyson is entered.

Meanwhile, Louis Oosthuizen will miss next week's Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek after having painkilling cortisone injections in his back.

The South African has struggled with a lower back problem this year and missed two months of action after withdrawing from the Open Championship.

A course of injections to reduce pain and inflammation in the affected area has now ruled him out for 14 days.

"I was really excited to play in the tournament so it is very disappointing to miss out," the 31-year-old said in a statement. "My back has been sore during the last few tournaments and it has been frustrating. I'm hopeful the injections will free up the problem and enable it to go away completely."

Oosthuizen, whose last victory came on home soil at the Volvo Golf Champions in January, aims to return at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in December.

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