Lara disqualified over extra hidden club
Jose Manuel Lara has been sent home from the BMW International Open over a hidden club
Jose Manuel Lara has been disqualified from the BMW International Open in Cologne after his caddie tried to hide the fact that the Spaniard began the event with an extra club in his bag.
In what was deemed a serious breach of etiquette, Lara was thrown out of the event when the incident came to light after he had shot an opening 73 - and his caddie was asked not to return.
European Tour chief referee John Paramor said: "His caddie noticed that he had a 15th club and on the second hole he attempted to lose it in a thick bush. He was seen entering the bush with the bag of clubs by his playing partners (Ireland's Damien McGrane and Swede Peter Hedblom), who thought it was a little bit suspicious."
He added: "They went and asked the chap 'What are you doing?' and he sort of fumbled out an answer saying 'I've got this wrong - I've done something bad. I wish it hadn't happened, etc etc'.
"It was clear the club was out of the bag and in the bush at the time. He admitted it straight away and regretted his action. A ruling was sought over what was the penalty for carrying an extra club and he was given two shots for the first hole and two for the second."
Without those Lara, twice a winner on the circuit, would have returned a three-under 69 and been in contention, but on the 18th hole a referee was summoned to the recording area and that is when the full story was told.
After speaking to colleagues on the referees panel Paramor ruled that it was a serious incident and warranted disqualification.
"Hopefully we won't have too many more of those," Paramor told Sky Sports.
"We interviewed the player and are perfectly satisfied that he had no knowledge of what was going on.
"It was clearly the caddie doing what he felt at the time was the right thing, but was clearly the wrong thing. He's kind of been asked not to come back and that's how the matter has been resolved."