Seve Day scores ‘were genuine’
Organisers of a cancer charity golf tournament in honour of Seve Ballesteros have stated that the current top 72 winning scores are all genuine, after one competitor was disqualified and others have been accused of being ‘cheats’ and ‘bandits’.
‘Seve Day’ involved golfers who had paid a £25 entry fee submitting Stableford scores from any European course throughout July and August. The top 72 were earlier this month invited to a star-studded final at The Belfry this October in which prizes such as a trip to the US Masters will be on offer. All money raised was for the Seve Ballesteros Foundation for Cancer Research UK, and more than 1,000 people in July alone paid the £25 fee.
However, questions were raised in early September when the top three scores included two in the 50s and one in the 60s, meaning that the players had shot between 14 and 26 under their handicaps. The SeveDay.com website and @SeveDay2012 Twitter account were bombarded with questions and accusations, while a post on the Golf Monthly forum, SeveDay – Are They Bandits? received over 7,000 views and nearly 200 replies.
Comments included: ‘Let’s forget the word ‘bandits’ and say ‘cheats’. Those scores are a joke’ and ‘The scores are an insult to Seve’.
Organisers responded to the outcry by issuing a statement on September 12 which said ‘that all scores have been officially verified with the playing partners of those individuals as well as their golf clubs’.
However, it then transpired that the winning score of 62 included 18 points that were scored by the golfer’s doubles’ partner, and she has now been disqualified. Despite the withdrawal, organisers are confident that this was a one-off and that all other scores are genuine.
“We have many keen golfers in the office and, suffice to say, the winning score of 62 raised more than a few eyebrows,” said Seve Day organiser Gemma Brindley.
“However, we were in a difficult position in that both the winner’s playing partner confirmed her score whilst Sale Golf Club confirmed her handicap. We contacted the winner on a number of occasions to raise these concerns but she insisted her score was correct.
“It has since transpired that she in fact recorded 62 points in a doubles competition of which only 44 were scored by her. We therefore had no option but to disqualify her from the competition.
“The other unusually high scores have been thoroughly investigated, both playing partners and clubs contacted to verify, and we remain comfortable with our decision to allow these players to compete in the final.
“A number of competitors will be playing off revised handicaps for the final at The Belfry, which should ensure a fair tournament.”