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By Joel Beall
It is a good thing professional golf does not have a “Number of Days Since Last Rules Controversy” sign placed at tournament sites. Because it would never crack double digits.
Already this week the sport has seen Lee Ann Walker assessed 58 penalty strokes for having her caddie improperly line her up on putts and Jesper Parnevik dinged for not taking a mulligan. Joining those ill-famed ranks is Marcel Siem.
Playing in the European Tour’s Open de France, Siem was under the impression that preferred lies were in place for the first round at Le Golf National (site of last years Ryder Cup) due to wet conditions. As such, Siem, 39, took the opportunity to lift, clean and replace his ball five times over his first nine holes.
One problem: Preferred lies were not instituted, meaning Siem incurred a two-shot penalty for each violation.
A total Siem, a former winner at the event, could not abide.
“That was a little too much for me and I disqualified myself,” Siem wrote on his Facebook page. “I thought I owed you the explanation.”
It’s a double-whammy, as the dropout means Siem now has to go to European Tour Q-school to retain his card for next season. Not that Siem seems concerned, ending his note with, “I promise I’ll be back.”
A tough break for Siem, but on the bright side, it was still 48 penalty strokes less than Walker. So, progress?