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Ballesteros to be sanctioned for behaviour

Severiano Ballesteros will be punished for attacking the wrong kind of green in a display of anger today during the first round of the Spanish Open.

At the sixth hole on the El Saler course, the Spaniard drove left into a zone of ice plant. Disappointed with his next shot, Ballesteros began hacking away at the thick-leaf plant in front of spectators and a TV audience.

Tournament referee Miguel Vidaor said Ballesteros would be sanctioned.

"He could only whack his recovery shot about 60 yards forward,'' Vidaor said. "He then repeatedly and violently swung his club, thrashing at the plant.''

Vidaor said Ballesteros apologised after his round, calling the display a "bad moment,'' and agreeing that such behaviour reflected badly on him and the game.

Ballesteros in trouble with the European Tour. Allsport.

"But the incident took place in front of spectators and was televised,'' Vidaor stressed. "Ballesteros will therefore be sanctioned. No official statement will be made about this.

"It is a matter which will be dealt with privately between Ballesteros as a private member of the European Tour and the Tour itself.''

Ballesteros bogeyed the hole on the way to a 4-over-par 76 in the $1.08 million event.

The five-time major championship winner whose game has grown more and more erratic in recent years, has missed four cuts -- including The Masters -- in five tournaments this year.






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