Overnight leader Molinari disqualified in Baltray

By Norman Dabell

BALTRAY (Reuters) - Italian Francesco Molinari was disqualified from the Irish Open when lying two strokes off the lead in the second round Friday.

Molinari, who fired a course record 63 Thursday to lead by one overnight, signed for the wrong score on two holes of his second round.

He signed his card for a correct overall score of one-over-par 73, which left him two strokes behind early front-runners Lee Westwood, Oliver Wilson, Soren Kjeldsen and Johan Edfors.

However, Molinari's marker, Peter Hanson, accidentally transposed the Italian's scores on the 12th and 13th holes.

Molinari had a four-putt double-bogey on the 12th but signed for a par four. He then signed for the double-bogey on the 13th which he had parred.

A European Tour spokesman said a very upset Molinari had left for home and was unavailable for comment. Swede Hanson was also unavailable to talk.

Britain's Michael Hoey suffered the same fate as Molinari after carrying one too many clubs in his bag.

"I just realised before I was about to hit my second shot on the second (his 11th hole) that underneath all of the wet gear in my bag there was an extra club in there," the 30-year-old told reporters.

"I knew right away that I had 15 clubs in the bag and that they had been there since yesterday. So I was disqualified for signing for the wrong score in the first round."

Had Hoey discovered the extra club earlier, he would have had to add four penalty strokes to his first-round score. The offence incurs a penalty of two strokes per hole played with a maximum of four strokes.

The Northern Irishman, who took his maiden European Tour victory at the Portuguese Open last month, was two-under-par at the time of his discovery and working his way through the field.

Ian Woosnam famously incurred a two-stroke penalty after discovering he had an extra club during the final round of the British Open in 2001.

(Editing by Miles Evans and Alison Wildey)

Article Published: 15/05/2009