European PGA Tour player Ose Manuel Lara was kicked out of the BMW International Open – after playing partner Damien McGrane questioned the antics of the Spanish player’s caddie.
In Thursday’s opening round in Cologne, caddy Mathias Vinson was caught trying to hide an illegal 15th club in bushes.
An investigation followed and yesterday the European Tour confirmed Lara had been disqualified while his Argentine caddie had been banned indefinitely.
The incident took place on the second tee of the Gut Lacenhof course when Irishman McGrane, last to tee off at the hole, thought it strange when Vinson, with Lara’s bag on his shoulder, ducked into thick bushes.
While Lara and the third member of the group, Sweden’s Peter Hedblom, strode off down the fairway, McGrane began to quiz Vinson, not believing the visit to the bushes was a ‘call of nature’.
He said: “I said to Jose Manuel’s caddy ‘What the hell are you doing?’ Straight away he knew he had done something silly.
Lara was in shock when McGrane brought the matter to his attention, before the Spaniard sought out chief referee, John Paramor.
McGrane believed Lara would be hit with a four-stroke penalty but it wasn’t until Thursday night he learned of his disqualification.
He added: “I said to Jose Manuel if he had a great week and won the tournament there would be this big black X opposite his name and I said to Jose you can’t have that."