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Suspended ban allows Simon Dyson to continue European Tour career

December 6 2013

Simon Dyson is free to continue his European Tour career after he was given a suspended two-month ban but cleared of “a premeditated act of cheating” on Thursday. Dyson was joint second after 36 holes of the BMW Masters in October when he was disqualified for signing for an incorrect score in the second round. The 35-year-old failed to add a two-shot penalty to his card after an incident on the eighth hole at Lake Malaren, when he touched the line of his putt after marking his ball, using the ball to flatten a spike mark. Having reviewed the incident after being alerted to it by television viewers, European Tour officials charged Dyson with a serious breach of the Tour’s code of behaviour, a charge which was upheld when the Yorkshireman appeared before a three-person disciplinary panel at Wentworth. The panel, chaired by Ian Mill QC and made up of European Senior Tour player Gordon Brand Jnr and League Managers’ Association chief executive Richard Bevan, found that Dyson deliberately pressed down the spike mark to improve his position, despite knowing it was against the rules. According to the panel, the “extreme seriousness” of such an offence “in the appropriate case” would warrant an immediate suspension, but Dyson’s previous good conduct and the fact that it was a “momentary aberration on his part, not a premeditated act of cheating”, was taken into consideration. Dyson was therefore given the suspended ban, with any breach of the Rules of Golf in the 18-month period seeing his case referred back to the panel to determine whether the suspension should immediately become effective. The six-time European Tour winner was also fined £30,000 and ordered to pay £7,500 towards the Tour’s costs, with the money to be paid within 56 days. Dyson, who finished joint third in the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa last week, and his management company declined to make any comment on the ruling. Dyson’s only public comment on the incident came via a statement released on October 31, in which he said: “I have never deliberately broken the rules either on this occasion or in the past. “It was only after I was shown the replay of my action after marking the ball on the eighth green during the second round that I realised what I had done and that I was in breach. I immediately accepted that I should be disqualified. “My action was in no way a deliberate act with the intention of breaking the rules. It was simply an accidental mistake which I have no reservations in apologising for and particularly to my fellow professionals and the Tour for any inconvenience and embarrassment unintentionally caused.”

Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...


BMW Masters: Simon Dyson disqualified after being reported by TV viewers

October 26 2013

Luke Guthrie finally surrendered the outright lead at the BMW Masters on a day which saw one of his rivals disqualified before play began in Shanghai. Guthrie had led since midway through the opening day at Lake Malaren and was four shots clear overnight, but a third round of 72 saw him caught at the top of the leaderboard by Spain's Rafael Cabrera-Bello. Cabrera-Bello carded a 67, the joint lowest round of the day, to finish alongside Guthrie on eight under par, with fellow Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano a shot behind after his own 67. France's Gregory Bourdy also returned a 67 to finish six under, with England's Paul Casey and Scottish pair Craig Lee and Scott Jamieson five under after all three bogeyed the last. However, Simon Dyson's chances of victory had earlier disappeared when he was disqualified for signing for an incorrect score in the second round, an incident he had "no recollection" of according to tournament officials. The 35-year-old, six times a winner on the European Tour and joint second at halfway, failed to add a two-shot penalty to his card after an incident on the eighth hole, when he touched the line of his putt after marking his ball. European chief referee John Paramor said in a statement: "Simon Dyson has been disqualified from the BMW Masters presented by SRE Group under the rules of golf (6-6d). Simon was found to have breached rule 16-1a, which states that a player must not touch his line of putt. "Television viewers alerted the European Tour to the incident, which took place on the eighth green during the second round, and when the footage was reviewed Simon was seen to touch the line of his second putt after marking and lifting his ball on the green. "He subsequently failed to add a two-shot penalty to his score when signing his card, and as a result has now been disqualified." Paramor added on www.europeantour.com: "We reviewed the footage with Simon today and there was no other option but to advise him that he was in breach of rule 16 1-a and that does lead to disqualification because he signed for a wrong score yesterday. "He was bitterly disappointed, he had no way of explaining why or how he came to do what he did; he had no recollection of it till I showed him and even then he said 'I can't even remember doing it.' It's a very sad thing and unfortunately his event is over." Dyson's disqualification dealt a huge blow to his chances of making the lucrative Race to Dubai finale. Only the top 60 on the European Tour money list are eligible for the final event, with Dyson currently ranked 66th. He will now need a good performance in either the WGC-HSBC Champions or Turkish Airlines Open to qualify for the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. Dyson is the latest player to have a rules infraction spotted by television viewers, the most famous this year being Tiger Woods taking an incorrect drop during the second round of the Masters. Woods escaped disqualification on that occasion because rules officials said they had examined his drop on the 15th hole and ruled he had done nothing wrong, but did not speak to Woods before he signed his card.

This student took his Tinder profile to the next level by turning it into a PowerPoint presentation

February 21 2018

Standing out from the crowd on Tinder can be tough, but with the help of Microsoft PowerPoint a British student has managed just that – and gone viral in the process.Sam Dixey, a 21-year-old studying at Leeds University, made a six-part slideshow entitled “Why you should swipe right” – using pictures and bullet points to shrewdly persuade potential dates to match with him on the dating app. The slideshow includes discussion of his social life and likes, such as “petting doggos” and “laser tag”, and “other notable qualities and skills” – such as being “not the worst at sex” and “generous when drunk”.It even has reviews mocked up from sources such as “Donald Trump”, “Leonardo Di Capri Sun” and “The Times Guide to Pancakes 2011”.Sam told the Press Association the six-slide presentation only took about 20 minutes to make and “started off as a joke”.However, since being posted to Twitter by fellow Tinder user Gracie Barrow, Sam’s slideshow has been shared tens of thousands of times across social media.So, it’s got the seal of approval form Gracie, but how has the slideshow fared on Tinder? “I’d have to say it has been pretty successful,” Sam said. “Definitely a clear correlation of matches and dates beforehand to afterwards.“Most of the responses tend to revolve around people saying ‘I couldn’t help swipe right 10/10’ but I’ve had some people go the extra mile and message me on Facebook.“Plus some people have recognised me outside, in the library and on dates.”A resounding success.

Motoring news

Join the queue for littlest Audi Q

November 9 2016

Audi’s relentless release of new models continues with the launch of its smallest SUV. The Q2 goes on sale in the UK next week with prices starting at £22,380. There’s an extensive selection of petrol and diesel power trains as well as the option of front or Quattro four-wheel drive. More models will be added to the range later on, including powerful SQ2 and RSQ2 versions. Aimed squarely at a younger audience, the Q2 has bolder, sharper lines and a different shape to Audi’s bigger SUVs, the Q3, Q5 and Q7. Although it’s clearly meant more for buzzing around cities than growling across farmland, cladding and skid plates lend it an aura of ruggedness. Audi is also offering a range of vibrant colours to deepen the Q2’s appeal to youthful buyers. The interior is as plush as you’d expect from Audi, justifying its price hike over similarly sized SUVs like the Nissan Juke and Honda HR-V. The materials are high quality – softtouch plastics, leather on higher spec cars and brushed aluminium trim elements all blended into a smart-looking package. As standard, drivers get a seven-inch infotainment screen on top of the dashboard. It’s operated through Audi’s rotary dial system that’s far more intuitive and easier to use when on the move than rivals’ touchscreen systems. Among the many options is Audi’s excellent Virtual Cockpit - a 12.3in screen that replaces the manual instruments behind the steering wheel. Overall, the Q2 is 4.7in shorter than the A3 hatchback, but Audi says there’s enough leg and headroom for two adult passengers in the back. Boot space comes in at 405 litres – 50 more than you’ll find in the A3 hatchback and rival Nissan Juke, although it trails the Mini Countryman by the same amount. To begin with, the only diesel option is a 1.6 litre with 114bhp, although a more powerful 184bhp 2.0 litre unit will be added to the range soon. Similarly, the petrol engine range is limited for now but will be expanded by the end of the year. The 1.4 litre, 148bhp unit offered now will be joined by 1.0 litre, 114bhp three cylinder turbo and 2.0 litre, 187bhp options – the latter coming with an S-Tronic automatic gearbox. When it arrives the 1.0 litre petrol version will be the cheapest model in the range with a price tag of £20,230. Courier Motoring has yet to get its hands on the car but early reviews have been very positive and Audi looks to have yet another winner on its hands. jmckeown@thecourier.co.uk

Road tests

Audi Q2 puts quality over size

March 21 2018

Audi’s Q2 was one of the first premium compact SUVs on the market. It sits below the Q3, Q5 and the gigantic, seven seat Q7 in Audi’s ever growing range. Although it’s about the same size as the Nissan Juke or Volkswagen T-Roc, its price is comparable with the much larger Nissan X-Trail or Volkswagen Tiguan. Even a basic Q2 will set you back more than £21,000 and top whack is £38,000. Then there’s the options list which is extensive to say the least. My 2.0 automatic diesel Quattro S Line model had a base price of £30,745 but tipped the scales at just over £40,000 once a plethora of additions were totted up. Size isn’t everything, however. In recent years there’s been a trend of buyers wanting a car that’s of premium quality but compact enough to zip around town. It may be a step down in size but the Q2 doesn’t feel any less classy than the rest of Audi’s SUV range. The interior looks great and is user friendly in a way that more mainstream manufacturers have never been able to match. The simple rotary dial and shortcut buttons easily trounce touchscreen systems, making it a cinch to skim through the screen’s menus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eQ5p5Z7-Ek&list=PLUEXizskBf1nbeiD_LqfXXsKooLOsItB0 There’s a surprising amount of internal space too. I took three large adults from Dundee to Stirling and no one complained about feeling cramped. As long as you don’t have a tall passenger behind a tall driver you can easily fit four adults. At 405 litres the boot’s big too – that’s 50 litres more than a Nissan Juke can muster. Buyers can pick from 1.0 and 1.4 litre petrol engines or 1.6 and 2.0 litre TDIs. Most Q2s are front wheel drive but Audi’s Quattro system is standard on the 2.0 diesel, as is a seven-speed S Tronic gear box. On the road there’s a clear difference between this and SUVs by manufacturers like Nissan, Seat and Ford. Ride quality, while firm, is tremendously smooth. Refinement is excellent too, with road and tyre noise kept out of the cabin. It sits lower than the Q3 or Q5 and this improves handling, lending the Q2 an almost go-kart feel. On a trip out to Auchterhouse, with plenty of snow still on the ground, I was appreciative of the four-wheel drive as well. The Q2 is expensive – though there are some good finance deals out there – but you get what you pay for. Few cars this small feel as good as the Q2 does. Price: £30,745 0-62mph: 8.1 seconds Top speed: 131mph Economy: 58.9mpg CO2 emissions: 125g/km


Dyson puts ban threat behind him

November 21 2013

Simon Dyson will return to European Tour action this week despite facing the possibility of a ban. The Yorkshireman has not played since his controversial disqualification from the BMW Masters in Shanghai last month. With a disciplinary hearing to take place next month, he pulled out of the recent Turkish Airways Open but will feature in the South African Open at Ekurhuleni, Gauteng. Dyson was disqualified in China after signing for a card on which he had failed to add a two-stroke penalty. The 35-year-old was punished for touching the line of a putt on the eighth hole of his second round, an offence which was spotted by television viewers. Dyson insisted his actions were an accident but he was charged with a serious rules breach, for which the most severe punishment could be a ban. He has decided to put that aside for now to compete in South Africa, where he was among today’s early starters. Although the 2013 Race to Dubai was won by Henrik Stenson less than a week ago, the tournament is the first of the 2014 series. Stenson won last year but will not be returning to defend his title due to a wrist injury. A lot of the focus this week will instead be on the South African players who make up the majority of the field. Former US Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, the country’s highest-ranked player at 22, has his sights set on taking the title for the first time. The 29-year-old told reporters: “I want to win the SA Open, but I’m not going to put unnecessary pressure on myself.” The European Tour next week moves across South Africa to the Alfred Dunhill Championship in Malelane for another event in which Dyson is entered.


Joburg Open: Bradley Neil misses cut

February 28 2015

Perthshire’s Bradley Neil missed the half-way cut at the Joburg Open. The amateur champion, who received an invite to the European Tour event as he builds up to the Masters in April, followed his opening day 72 with a 74 to fall seven shots below the cut. Meanwhile, clubhouse leader Wallie Coetsee hopes his daughters will be able to follow his progress over the weekend even if it means having to watch on a neighbour’s television. Coetsee revealed he does not own a TV after adding a 65 to his opening 66 at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club, his 12-under-par total giving the world number 509 a one-shot lead over fellow South Africans Garth Mulroy and Tjaart van der Walt and England’s Simon Dyson. “When we moved to Jeffreys Bay two-and-a-half years ago, we decided to get rid of our television,” Coetsee said. “So if Zoe and Kelly want to watch, I hope my wife Ashley takes them to a friend’s place. “Life is so much simpler, especially without television. We’re in bed early and we read a lot of books, and we’re up early, walking on the beach before we take the kids to school. “I can also practice early and I play out at Zwartenbosch Golf and Lifestyle Estate. “It’s quiet there. I have the nine-hole course to myself on Mondays and Tuesdays, there are competitions on Wednesdays, and I have it to myself again on Thursdays. “It’s like I’ve got my own course.” Asked about leading one of South Africa’s biggest events, which also has three places in the Open Championship at St Andrews up for grabs, the 42-year-old added: “Somebody must wake me up; it feels like a dream. “It would be great (to qualify for the Open), but that is a big bonus. First thing is to wake up tomorrow and enjoy this ride.” Seven of the top 10 completed their second rounds on the harder East Course on Friday, including Dyson, who fired six birdies and one bogey in his 67. Dyson has won six times on the European Tour but missed the cut in his first three events this season and has a best finish of joint 50th so far in 2015. “I didn’t play as good as yesterday, but I scored pretty well,” he said. “I made four birdies on the front nine and I birdied the par fives if you get your drives away then they’re all pretty good chances. “There was some luck. I got fortunate on 10. I pushed my drive down there and managed to get a shot, hit to about three feet and knocked that in, which was a bonus. “It was a good day and I was very happy with the score. “It’s been a while since I’ve been up there. I’ve been playing all right, but at the beginning of the season I changed my irons and they were costing me dearly I didn’t have a clue how far they were going. “This is the first week I’ve put my old set back in the bag and all of a sudden I’m hitting it pin high again that makes a heck of a difference.” European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke could only card a second consecutive 72 to miss the cut by five shots.


Charl Schwartzel defends Alfred Dunhill Championship title

December 2 2013

Former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel won the Alfred Dunhill Championship for a third time, successfully defending his title at Leopard Creek. Schwartzel, who won by 12 shots last year, carded a closing 68 to finish 17 under par, four shots clear of England’s Richard Finch, who returned a 70. Simon Dyson, who faces a European Tour disciplinary panel on Thursday following his disqualification from the BMW Masters in October, shot a final round of 67 to finish joint third on 10 under alongside compatriot Ross Fisher and France’s Romain Wattel. The win will take Schwartzel back into the world’s top 20 and makes up for letting a three-shot lead slip in the final round of the South African Open seven days ago. The 29-year-old began the final round with a two-shot lead over playing partner Finch but saw that wiped out in the space of three holes as the Englishman birdied the first and third. Schwartzel responded with a superb tee shot to within a few feet of the hole on the fifth to edge back in front, but a birdie on the sixth was matched by Finch, playing here on a sponsor’s invite after losing his card at the end of the 2013 season. It looked as though Finch, who won twice on the European Tour in 2008, would get back on level terms after a brilliant second shot to the eighth, but Schwartzel holed from 20ft and Finch did well to follow him in. Finch made his first mistake of the day on the 11th, a wild drive leading to a penalty drop and a bogey five, although Schwartzel almost let him off the hook. From the middle of the fairway the South African span a simple wedge shot back into a greenside bunker and eventually had to hole from four feet for par to extend his lead to two shots. Schwartzel moved three ahead with a birdie from 10 feet on the 13th and the tournament suddenly looked over as a contest when Finch ran up a double bogey on the next, his approach from a fairway bunker hitting rocks on the edge of a water hazard and bouncing into some bushes. Schwartzel’s birdie putt from six feet lipped out, but he still had a five-shot lead with four holes to play. Finch reduced the gap with a birdie on the 15th, but Schwartzel was able to cruise home with a safety-first approach to seal his ninth European Tour title. Only two Scots made it to the weekend with David Drysdale finishing on six under 11 off winner Schwartzel after weekend rounds of 72 and 70. Chris Doak didn’t fare so well, finishing on four over after disappointing closing rounds of 76 and 74.

Motoring news

Form an orderly Q for Audi SUV

August 10 2016

First there was the Q7. Then the Q5 and Q3. All have been a phenomenal success for Audi. I’d be surprised if that script changes when the Q2 arrives in November. Audi’s baby SUV is available to order now with prices starting at £22,380. Can’t quite stretch to that? Don’t worry, an entry level three-cylinder 1.0 litre version will be available later this year with a cover tag of £20,230. From launch, there are three trim levels available for the Q2 called SE, Sport and S Line. The range-topping Edition #1 model will be available to order from next month priced from £31,170. While the entry-level 113bhp 1.0-litre unit isn’t available right away, engines you can order now include a 113bhp 1.6-litre diesel and 148bhp 1.4-litre petrol unit, both with manual or S tronic automatic transmissions. Also joining the Q2 line-up from September is the 2.0-litre TDI diesel with 148bhp or 187bhp. This unit comes with optional Quattro all-wheel drive. A 2.0 litre petrol with Quattro and S tronic joins the range next year. Standard equipment for the new Audi Q2 includes a multimedia infotainment system with rotary/push-button controls, supported with sat-nav. Audi’s smartphone-friendly interface, 16in alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity and heated and electric mirrors are all also standard for the Audi. Along with the optional Audi virtual cockpit and the head-up display, the driver assistance systems for the Audi Q2 also come from the larger Audi models – including the Audi pre sense front with pedestrian recognition that is standard. The system recognises critical situations with other vehicles as well as pedestrians crossing in front of the vehicle, and if necessary it can initiate hard braking – to a standstill at low speeds. Other systems in the line-up include adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go function, traffic jam assist, the lane-departure warning system Audi side assist, the lane-keeping assistant Audi active lane assist, traffic sign recognition and rear cross-traffic assist.