favours Van de Velde as final day starts
officials have revealed the drop of fortune that helped France's Jean Van de Velde
to take a five-shot lead into today's final round at Carnoustie.
emerged today that Van de Velde, through no fault of his own, had been given an
illegal drop on the 11th hole on his way to a third round 70.
tee shot on the 383-yard par four found the rough on the right of the fairway
in a lie so bad that he decided to play out sideways onto the fairway.
television tower was on his intended line of play back to the fairway and he asked
the match referee for relief without penalty under a local rule for temporary
request should have been denied as the tower did not lie directly between Van
de Velde's ball and the hole and the ball was not within one club-length of a
place where the tower would come into play.
in error, Van de Velde was allowed a free drop, played back onto the fairway and
subsequently saved par with a 10-foot putt.
talking to the match referee and reviewing television coverage of the incident
David Rickman, Royal & Ancient rules secretary, said: "It is regrettable
that the ruling on the 11th hole was incorrect.
the circumstances the player's request was both reasonable and understandable
but, in accordance with the local rule, relief should not have been granted. That
having been said, the referee's decision is final."
de Velde goes out in his final round today at 2.40pm alongside Aussie Craig Parry.
The Aussie shot the tournament's
best round of 67 to rocket up the leaderboard on Saturday.
were quiet out on the course for the early starters today and Australian Stephen
Allan took advantage by shooting a two-under-par 69.
number two David Duval's struggle continued and his second successive 76 left
him on 22-over-par.
two other top Americans did begin brightly - Davis Love and Jim Furyk both moving
to two-under for their rounds and 10-over for the tournament after four holes.
Lee Westwood showed
signs of making a move up the leaderboard as he improved to 11-over after a birdie
at the first and he followed that up with four successive pars.