Sunday, July 20, 2003

Roe, Parnevik are disqualified

Players signed incorrect scorecards

The Associated Press

SANDWICH, England - Mark Roe was on top of the world as he strolled off the 18th green at Royal St. George's, blowing kisses to the crowd and savoring a thunderous ovation.

The English journeyman had just played the greatest round of his life. He looked forward to returning today with a chance to win the British Open.

Instead, he'll be watching the tournament on TV.

Roe was disqualified after shooting a 4-under-par 67 in the third round, the victim of an innocent scorecard error involving playing partner Jesper Parnevik.

The two failed to swap scorecards before they teed off, so Parnevik's 81 was on Roe's card - and Roe's score was on the Swede's card. The two signed off on their errant figures in the scoring hut without anyone noticing until it was too late.

"How stupid is that?" Parnevik said. "We checked our scores with the scorers. We had two (Royal & Ancient) officials checking. I can't believe in the 10 minutes we were in there, they didn't catch it."

In Parnevik's case, it didn't matter. He was out of contention after a terrible round.

But Roe, 40, who hasn't won since 1994, would have been just two strokes behind leader Thomas Bjorn after matching the best round of the tournament.

"What can you do?" Roe said. "I've just played one of the greatest rounds of my life, and I can't play tomorrow."

Here's how this mess happened: In tournament golf, players keep each other's scores. Roe and Parnevik got their cards from Royal & Ancient officials before the round, with their names printed in the upper left corner. But they failed to make the swap at the first tee.

When they signed their cards at the end of the round, each was disqualified for vouching for a lower score on a hole. In Roe's case, there was only one hole where he scored worse than Parnevik, No. 4. Without that, Roe could have played on, though he would have had to take Parnevik's 81.

Or, under rule 6-6.d, both players could have fixed the problem by simply scratching out the name at the top of the card and scribbling their own. Somehow, Roe, Parnevik and the officials who looked over their cards failed to notice the error.

"Ultimately, it's your responsibility to have the correct card," Tiger Woods said.

Roe couldn't believe he cost himself a chance to win a major with such a silly blunder.

The fiasco rekindled memories of Roberto De Vicenzo, who cost himself a chance to win the 1968 Masters by signing for the wrong score.

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