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Sjoholm plays in sneakers after arriving late

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It was a bizarre start Thursday to the European Tour’s Hong Kong Open, where one player was disqualified for arriving late to his tee time and another narrowly avoided the same fate but was forced to play the first two holes in sneakers.

Let’s start with Joonas Granberg. According to an unbylined story on SkySports.com, he had an 11:50 a.m. local time tee time at Hong Kong Golf Club but, in an interesting twist, off the 11th tee. He initially went to the first hole before realizing his mistake. Then he sprinted to the 11th tee, only to notice that his caddie was back on the 10th hole. DQ.

Joel Sjoholm, meanwhile, said he set six alarms but still slept through them. He woke up at 7:58 a.m. local time – just 32 minutes from his tee time. He quickly grabbed a taxi to the course, some 25 minutes away, and didn’t have time to grab his spikes since they were in his locker.

Of course, the 28-year-old also was in such a rush that on his opening tee shot he forgot to tie his sneakers, which were already half a size too big, but Sjoholm scrambled his way to a par on the opening hole. On the green, a European Tour official presented Sjoholm with two pairs of golf spikes. “It was the royal treatment,” he told European Tour Radio afterward.

Remarkably, he went on to shoot a 2-under 68 and sits just four shots back after the opening round. 

“I should not even be here,” he said afterward. “I am really happy at the moment. Maybe I should do it more often because it’s a long time since I started that good.”