Welsh golfer Matthew Phythian missed a chance to qualify for the Open Championship after a bizarre disqualification at Rye Golf Club when he was on course to join the world's best at Royal St Georges later this month.
A thermometer reading on his Motocaddy S1 powered trolley was deemed to have broken Rule 14-3 which prevents measuring devices and temperature readings in R&A events.
The 21-year-old Rhonda amateur, a Sports Studies student at Glamorgan University was going well on two under par when a chance remark from his girlfriend and caddie about the 31-degree heat at the Kent links, was picked up by a Rules official.
"I’m gutted," said Matthew. "After being two under par through 14 holes, I needed two more birdies in the next 22 holes to qualify."
He told Wales online: "On my trolley I disengaged the yardage gauge because I knew I’m not allowed it but I can't knock off the clock and digital thermometer.
"When Josephine pointed out how hot it was, one of the pros I was playing with said: ‘Where did you get that from, it wasn’t your trolley was it?'
"A referee said it shouldn’t be a problem if I covered it up so I also disengaged the trolley and we took turns to push it around the course. When I found out after 14 holes I was disqualified I just lost it , especially as the Rhondda Golf Club put a fair bit of money together to help me get to regional qualifying where I came through a 10-man play-off at Clitheroe."
He says the one good thing to come out it is the knowledge that his game stands up with the pros and he will keep his head down and keep practising.
A Motocaddy spokesman said: “Our trollies don’t have that temperature facility as of 2009. On the S3 model it has been removed."
FOOTNOTE:Golf's Rule 14-3 says: The use of distance measuring devices during a stipulated round remains contrary to the Rules of Golf ( Rule 14-3 ) but allows a Local Rule to permit the use of such devices...a distance-measuring device designed to gauge or measure other conditions that might affect a player’s play (e.g gradient, wind speed, temperature, etc) is not permitted regardless of whether such an additional function is used.