Eddie Pepperell was disqualified from the Turkish Airlines Open on Saturday when he ran out of golf balls.
The English pro who was competing in the European Tour event hit as many as five golf balls — his playing partners were unsure — into the water on the par-5 fourth hole at the Montgomerie Maxx Royal course during the third round of the $7 million tournament.
He was grouped with former U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer of Germany and South Africa’s George Coetzee.
“Eddie hit his shots to the green, then came over to tell us he had run out of balls,” Kaymer told reporters in Turkey. “Then he walked off. I thought he lost four or five. We are about 80 percent sure it was five, 20 percent four. He was quick, so it was hard to keep track. He did not ask if he could borrow one from me or George. It did not look like he wanted to play. He did not putt with his putter on the third hole; he putted with a wedge. So there was a lot happening.
“I have never seen anything like that before. I only watched it on television, in ‘Tin Cup.’ This is the first time I have seen it live.”
The official reason for being disqualified was “failure to complete a hole.” Pepperell could have borrowed a ball from Kaymer or Coetzee and faced a two-shot penalty — in addition to all the strokes and penalty strokes for hitting into the water so many times — if it was not the same type ball he used.
But Pepperell would have faced disqualification for violating the one-ball rule had he not been able to get the same ball he had been playing prior to the teeing off on the next hole.
Pepperell was 41st in the Race to Dubai standings entering the event and assured of qualifying for the next tournament, the Nedbank Golf Challenge, with takes the top 60 as the European Tour concludes its season in Dubai in two weeks.
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