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Tour News (posted 30th May 1998)

Sandelin confronts O'Meara over Lancome ball dispute

Hamburg, Germany - The ill feeling over U.S. Masters champion Mark O'Meara's apparent misplacing of his ball en route to winning last year's Lancome Trophy escalated at the Deutsche Bank Open on Saturday, according to a report released today from Reuters.

Sweden's Jarmo Sandelin, second behind the American last September in Paris, confronted O'Meara when play was suspended because of lightning.

Sandelin was dozing in a corner of the players' lounge when O'Meara, playing a European Tour event for the first since the incident, came in before warming up for his delayed second round.

"I took my chance to face him at last," said the Swede. "At least he knows my standpoint now from my own mouth.

"Obviously, we didn't agree. I told him it was very difficult to accept it was a mistake because he has been playing for 20 years and he's marked a golf ball 50,000 times.

"In the end he just changed the subject and asked me about my sportsmanship, talking about last year's Dunhill Cup when I had a spat with Phil Mickelson.

"We were just getting nowhere but at least I've made my point and that's as much as I can do. I suppose that's it now."

Sandelin has campaigned for the Masters champion to return the trophy and make amends for his action in France which had been highlighted on video tape.

The video showed O'Meara replacing his ball fractionally nearer the 15th hole compared to where he had originally marked it on his way to capturing the 116,660 first prize.

O'Meara has maintained it was an honest mistake and the European and U.S. tours are taking no action. The result stands.

"Yes we did meet," said O'Meara. "There's no question we had an issue to settle but it is his issue.

"He's the one who raised it in the first place and the one who keeps talking about it. Everybody else seems satisfied with my explanation.

"I've made all my statements and I told him the video might have looked as though I replaced wrongly but that was not what I was trying to do.

"Talking about all this again has achieved nothing."

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