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Mark Roe welcomes new rules change

Britain's Mark Roe, disqualified because of a scores mix-up when he had a chance to win the British Open two years ago, has welcomed a decision to relax the rule over players signing a wrong card.

From January 1 2006, tournament committees will be allowed to accept as an "administrative error" incidents where the correct score has been entered on the wrong card, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club (R&A) said in a statement earlier on Tuesday.

Roe and his Swedish playing partner Jesper Parnevik were disqualified from the 2003 British Open when the duo signed for the wrong scores after failing to exchange cards at the start of the third round.

"I think it (the R&A decision) is a great move. I am really pleased that something good has come from my mistake," Roe told reporters at the Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews.

"The opportunity I had at Sandwich would have changed my life if I'd played well enough. It was an unfortunate thing but you abide by the rules."

The Englishman's blunder cost him a tie for third place going into the final day at Royal St George's after he had charged into contention with a joint best-of-the-week 67.

Following that incident, the R&A changed its recording system for the 2004 British Open but made clear the responsibility for checking scorecards would remain with the players.

Roe was praised for the dignified way he accepted his disqualification.

"I would like to think the way I handled it at the time and what I went through was possibly a small influencing factor in getting them to look at it," said Roe.

"It was 100 percent my mistake and I have never looked to make an excuse for it. I didn't make a mistake in my scores.

"Jesper came to the tee a good deal later than me. I had picked up my card and in all the excitement in getting ready to tee off, I stuck it in my bag and he did the same with his.

"Just a simple mistake to make."

The R&A is the game's worldwide governing body and works closely with the United States Golf Association, which administers golf in Mexico and the U.S.


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