Simon Dyson finds crucial ally in Tour chief

The Tate Britain. Picture: Getty
The Tate Britain. Picture: Getty
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SIMON Dyson may have a cloud hanging over his head as he awaits a disciplinary hearing, but the Englishman’s presence in the South African Open has been defended by European Tour chief executive George O’Grady.

It’s Dyson’s first outing since it was announced he will be appearing before a three-man panel – on 5 December in London, it is believed – over his disqualification from last month’s BMW Masters in Shanghai.

The former Dunhill Links winner was clearly seen tapping down a spike mark with his golf ball and has effectively been charged with cheating, although it seems unlikely the Tour have called the hearing over one incident.

Indeed, it has been claimed that Dyson, a fidgety figure on the golf course, was spoken to by Tour officials last May over another incident where he allegedly broke the rules.

Dyson, who pulled out of the Turkish Airlines Open a fortnight ago then wasn’t eligible for the Tour Championship in Dubai, has travelled to South Africa for a double-header, having also entered next week’s Alfred Dunhill Championship.

“It is disappointing, given that Simon is such a solid member of the European Tour for some time now,” said O’Grady of the impending hearing that will involve a Tour official, a barrister and Senior Tour player. “However, I am confident the panel will look at all the evidence and deal with the issue correctly.

“Simon remains innocent at this point in time so he is quite entitled to compete this week in South Africa.”