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Roger Wessels sunk by spectator

An observant spectator cost South African golfer Roger Wessels a substantial payday at the Heineken Classic in Perth.

Wessels was disqualified after tournament officials investigated and verified a claim that he had incorrectly replaced his ball on the 18th green during the third round.

The South African was well-placed going into the final 18 holes at seven-under-par and in equal seventh place, a position worth more than US$27,500 in prize money.

However, European Tour chief referee John Paramor had no option but to disqualify Wessels after viewing video replays of the incident.

Wessels was disqualified under rule 20-3, for not including a two-stroke penalty on his signed scorecard after the third round.

Wessels' playing partner, Swede Robert Karlsson, had asked the South
African to re-mark his ball on the 18th as it was on his putting line.

He moved his marker a club length, but then forgot to return the ball to its original resting place before putting out.

Roger Wessels, an expensive mistake to make. Allsport.

A spectator apparently tried to bring the matter to Wessels' attention at the time, but was unable to do so and later contacted Australasian PGA Tour officials at the event which is joint sanctioned with the European tour.

Wessels said he could not remember the incident until shown the replay and accepted his punishment with good grace. "Rules are rules," he said.

"It is one of those things that happen in the heat of the moment. I was not gaining any advantage - it was only two and a half feet."

Wessels said he was unaware of any calls from the crowd as he lined up his putt.

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