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Disqualified golfer Padraig Harrington
"I'm meticulous when it comes to checking my card"
 real 28k

The BBC's Tony Adamson
"Golf is a very cruel game"
 real 28k

Sunday, 14 May, 2000, 18:46 GMT 19:46 UK
Belfry leader disqualified

Harrington's scorecard was not signed by him
Overnight leader Padraig Harrington was dramatically disqualified from the Benson and Hedges International Open before his final round at the Belfry on Sunday for forgetting to sign his scorecard on Thursday.

The news was announced half an hour before Harrington was due to tee off.

The Irishman had been five strokes clear of Jose Maria Olazabal and Welshman Phil Price.

They were left as joint leaders, and it was Olazabal who made the most a dramatic series of events to walk away with the 166,600 first prize.
Padraig Harrington
Harrington leaves the course after his disqualification

On Saturday, Harrington had shot a course record 64 which included eight birdies, and going into Sunday was in line for the biggest win of his career.

The European Tour's senior referee Andy McFee explained: "The Belfry Hotel spoke to us this morning and asked if we could get the cards of all potential winners so they could frame them.

"In the process our staff noticed that while his first-round card had two signatures on it, neither was Padraig's.

"Nowhere is there an attestation from the player that the round is accurate and that is a breach of the rules. The penalty is disqualification."

McFee spoke to Harrington as he was warming up on the driving range and took him alongside to give them the devastating news.



You have to hold up your card to the rest of the world - it's a core principal

European Tour senior referee Andy McFee

"We all know he is an extremely level-headed person and he knew there was nowhere else to go. I suspect he is desperately disappointed - we all are.

"I asked him to show me his signature and he couldn't. For some reason Michael Campbell had signed all three cards for the group and it was his signature where Harrington's was supposed to be.

"This goes to the very core of the game. Golf is not played in the constant gaze of a referee and because of that it is very easy to do things that aren't correct.

"You have to hold up your card to the rest of the world. It's a core principal."

Olazabal celebrates his victory

After the off-course drama, Olazabal and won the title for the second time thanks to a second successive 66 highlighted by an eagle on the long 17th.

It was Spaniard's first victory since the US Masters 13 months ago and since he broke his hand banging a hotel wall in frustration at the US Open last June.

The 1990 B&H winner held off the challenge of Welshman Price to win by three with a 13 under par total of 275.

Nobody else was in the hunt with Scot Andrew Coltart and Argentina's Jose Coceres sharing third place five strokes further back.

Collated final scores
Gbr and Irl unless stated, (x) denotes amateur

275 JM Olazabal (Spa) 75 68 66 66 (166,600 prize money)
278 P Price 69 72 68 69 (111,000)
283 A Coltart 75 71 71 66, J Coceres (Arg) 74 74 68 67 (56,300 each)
287 C Montgomerie 76 69 73 69, A Wall 75 69 73 70, S Gallacher 76 71 69 71, (x) A Scott (Aus) 71 75 67 74
288 A Cabrera (Arg) 72 72 77 67, J-F Remesy (Fra) 73 76 70 69, MA Jimenez (Spa) 76 72 71 69, P O'Malley (Aus) 73 75 69 71, J Lomas 71 71 73 73
289 A Hansen (Den) 76 73 72 68, G Ogilvy (Aus) 73 75 68 73, J Van de Velde (Fra) 70 75 70 74, J Senden (Aus) 73 73 69 74
290 B Langer (Ger) 76 70 73 71, R Green (Aus) 78 69 72 71, M Florioli (Ita) 76 75 68 71, P McGinley 73 71 72 74
291 D Clarke 78 72 72 69, T Gillis (USA) 77 74 70 70, N Fasth (Swe) 75 75 70 71, I Poulter 73 74 72 72, P Quirici (Swi) 73 73 72 73, P Mitchell 76 74 67 74
292 S Hansen (Den) 75 76 70 71, B Davis 76 73 71 72, N O'Hern (Aus) 75 74 71 72, C Rocca (Ita) 74 70 74 74, D Carter 79 70 68 75, R Karlsson (Swe) 76 70 70 76
293 C Rodiles (Spa) 74 77 72 70, E Romero (Arg) 75 73 74 71, I Garbutt 76 71 72 74, M Lafeber (Ned) 77 72 68 76
294 R Jacquelin (Fra) 77 73 75 69, D Terblanche (Rsa) 76 74 73 71, D Lynn 77 72 73 72, K Storgaard (Den) 81 69 71 73, G Brand Jnr 71 80 70 73, S Struver (Ger) 76 71 70 77
295 D Robertson 72 78 76 69, C Suneson (Spa) 73 78 73 71, R Gonzalez (Arg) 78 72 71 74, G Owen 76 69 75 75, I Woosnam 77 73 68 77
296 S Tinning (Den) 75 74 75 72, S Luna (Spa) 78 72 73 73, D Park 75 72 73 76
297 P Lonard (Aus) 77 72 75 73, M Campbell (Nzl) 78 73 72 74
298 L Westwood 77 74 76 71, B Dredge 77 73 76 72, P Affleck 76 73 75 74, M Blackey 75 75 72 76, R Byrd (USA) 71 76 73 78
299 O Eliasson (Swe) 74 77 75 73, D Gilford 75 75 70 79
300 D Hospital (Spa) 76 69 78 77, MA Martin (Spa) 75 76 69 80
301 J Berendt (Arg) 74 76 78 73, S Kjeldsen (Den) 79 71 71 80
302 A Sherborne 75 73 76 78
303 J Payne 75 74 77 77, F Cea (Spa) 76 75 75 77, J Bickerton 73 76 73 81
304 S Torrance 77 72 79 76, P Senior (Aus) 76 75 76 77, E Boult (Nzl) 76 75 73 80
305 M Scarpa (Ita) 77 72 75 81
312 B Lane 77 74 83 78
Disqualified P Harrington

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