Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few months, you can’t have failed to notice that golf’s rules have been given a 2019 makeover.
The shorter, simplified laws of the game came into force for amateurs and professionals alike on January 1 and, so far, much of the debate has centred on two things: putting with the flagstick left in; and the new procedure for dropping from knee height.
Largely overlooked has been the fact that you are now allowed to tap down spikemarks.
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano has noticed, though – and he didn’t miss the opportunity to call out a fellow pro for having been guilty of breaking the old rule in the past.
Check this out...
First competitive round of the year on @EuropeanTour with the new rules on effect. Tapping down spikemarks felt so weird, it will take some time to get used to it - Unless you are Simon Dyson and you have been doing it for years.— Gonzalo Fdez-Castaño (@gfcgolf) January 16, 2019
When he was challenged to tag Dyson so that he could see the post, Fernandez-Castano replied:
I would if I could. He blocked me long ago.— Gonzalo Fdez-Castaño (@gfcgolf) January 16, 2019
Dyson did see the post, though, and didn't mince his words with his reply...
Note: He quickly deleted the tweet... but not before we grabbed a screenshot of it.
Six-time European Tour winner Dyson was given a two-month ban from the European Tour – which was suspended for 18 months – and was fined over £30,000 in 2013, despite being cleared of a “premeditated act of cheating” when he appeared to tap down a spikemark during the BMW Masters in Shanghai… ultimately won by Fernandez-Castano.
After review, tour officials charged Dyson, above, with a “serious breach” of the tour’s code of behaviour. However, the Englishman was given a suspended ban after a three-man panel took into account his good conduct in his previous three years on tour and after determining his mistake to be a “momentary aberration”.
The leniency shown to Dyson reportedly enraged several of his fellow players – and if this tweet is anything to go by, the normally mild-mannered Fernandez-Castano was one of them.
Dyson most recently featured on the European Tour in last year’s Afred Dunhill Links Championship – one of only two events he played in 2018.
He launched a new venture called Elite Golf Performance earlier this month.