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Golf | European Tour

Michael Campbell © Reuters

Campbell's 'hilarious' accident



Michael Campbell was involved in a bizarre incident on Saturday that could have cost him the third-round joint lead at the $2 million UBS Hong Kong Open.

The 43-year-old New Zealander, who won the US Open in 2005, was practising his swing at the 10th tee, but in doing so accidentally knocked the ball off the tee. It plopped a few feet away from him.

He picked it up and replaced it on the tee – a move that could have incurred a two-stroke penalty had it been deemed he had addressed the ball.

"Ever since I started playing golf – the last 38 years of playing golf – I've never ever done that," he said.

"I was practising my swing, and teed the ball up, and as I practised my swing I knocked it off the tee. I knew it wasn't a penalty. JP (John Paramor, chief referee with the European Tour) was there and confirmed it.

"It wasn't an intentional swing, so I was allowed to replace the ball on the tee. It was hilarious, wasn't it? So funny.

"I knew the rules, but I wanted to double-check it. When JP walked towards me with a big smile on his face I knew I was OK."

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