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  Monday, 23 July, 2001, 11:12 GMT 12:12 UK
'Woosie, it happened to me too'
Woosnam, gutted, on discovering he had too many clubs
Woosnam, gutted, on discovering he had too many clubs
Ian Woosnam is not the only golfer to start a round with too many clubs.

In fact Woosnam's fellow Welshman Phillip Parkin was disqualified from the 1992 Italian Open after he found his son's toy putter in the bottom of his bag.

On the practice ground after finishing his first round, Parkin discovered the putter nestled in the bottom of his bag and reported it to the tournament director.

"I asked whether it would be classed as a golf club and he said it has to be at least 18.5 inches long to be classed as such," reflects Parkin.


I'm devastated for Ian - it is something that will haunt him for the rest of his life
Phillip Parkin

"So of course we went off measuring and it was actually 19 inches long, meaning I was disqualified.

"I asked what would have happened if it had been half an inch shorter and he said I would have been disqualified for having an illegal golf club."

Parkin was only told the day before the tournament began that he would be playing in it and drove through the night to reach the venue.

He arrived at 3am and teed-off at 8am, completing his round by noon.

But an hour later his tournament was over.

Gutted

Parkin can now see the funny side, but for Ian Woosnam, who is a good friend of Parkin, it is no laughing matter.

Woosnam began his final round at The Open on Sunday in brilliant style, with a birdie at the first.

But as he reached the second tee his caddy Miles Byrne discovered two drivers in the bag.

It meant Woosnam had 15 clubs, one more than is permitted, and he incurred an automatic two-shot penalty.

"I feel sorry for Miles and devastated for Ian. It is something that will haunt him for the rest of his life," said Parkin.

"He was tied for the lead and had just hit the best shot he could have hoped for off the opening tee.

"But he could only bogey three and four and the mistake cost him four maybe five shots."

Ultimately it may have cost Woosnam The Open.

However, Parkin maintains limiting the number of clubs a golfer can take onto the course is important.

"There is no question that golfers should be limited to 14 clubs and it would bring in a lot more skill if that figure was reduced to 10.

"But I think there should be a different rule if a little's boys club is found in the bottom of your bag!"

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Phillip Parkin
"I feel so sorry for Ian "
The 130th Open, at Royal Lytham

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