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Simon Khan change things

By Phil Casey

Published 10/09/2006

Simon Khan's disqualification from the Omega European Masters could hasten a change in the rules of golf.

Simon Khan's disqualification from the Omega European Masters could hasten a change in the rules of golf.

Khan was disqualified for playing the wrong ball in his third round, even though rules officials had "enormous sympathy" for his situation.

The 34-year-old from Essex thought his second shot to the par-five 14th had finished in a greenside bunker and began walking towards the green.

However, another player walking up the 15th hole which runs parallel to the 14th, Anthony Wall, told Khan his ball had taken a big bounce over the green and could be out of bounds.

Conscious that he has been fined in the past for slow play, Khan thought it best to go back and play a provisional ball, but when he dropped a ball in the fairway, playing partner Ignacio Garrido then told him his original ball was still in bounds.

Khan therefore picked up the second ball but should in fact have played it as he was not allowed to walk forward and then go back to play a provisional (rule 27-2).

European Tour chief referee John Paramor said: "I have an enormous amount of sympathy for Simon, especially because I have a proposal currently with the R&A rules committee for this to be looked at. It's a very severe penalty.

"Under rule 27-2 players are not allowed to walk forward, then come back and play a provisional ball. We do give some leeway - usually it is to the end of the teeing ground for example - of about 20 yards, but Simon said he had gone forward about 40 yards."

An R&A rules official added that such an incident would make it easier for the committee to look at, rather than dealing in abstract terms.

lSCORES: Page 88-89

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