Scot Peter Whiteford was disqualified from the Avantha Masters early in his final round at DLF G&CC in India after several fans contacted tournament officials to alert them to a rules violation Whiteford did not account for on his third-round scorecard.
At the 18th hole on Saturday, Whiteford's ball moved slightly as he was hitting his third shot. He audibly questioned if the ball have moved, asking others for their opinion. Not convinced, Whiteford signed for his score of 72 without adding a one-stroke penalty.
'Overnight, several viewers contacted the Tour website. This was reviewed by the rules committee, who were able to determine that the ball had in fact moved,' said European Tour chief referee John Paramor in a statement.
Trailing by a shot heading into Sunday, Whiteford was told of the possibly pending disqualification before his final round began. It was made official at the fourth tee - he was disqualified for signing for an incorrect score.
'I should have reviewed it. I'm not cheating. It's one of those things but disappointing,' Whiteford said.
Whiteford had led after both of the first two rounds of the tournament and was seeking his maiden European Tour win.
Marcel Siem experienced a similar situation later in the final round at the par-5 14th hole, with his ball moving as he addressed it for a chip shot. Paramor was called in by Siem to provide a ruling. After evaluating video footage of Siem's pre-shot routine, it was determined the ball moved and a one-shot penalty was given. He lost the tournament to Jbe Kruger by two shots, finishing T-2.