Golf

Els avoids penalty at Scottish

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INVERNESS, Scotland (AP)

Ernie Els' embarrassment at taking four shots in a greenside bunker during the Scottish Open almost became a whole lot worse when the South African was reported by an eagle-eyed TV viewer for a possible rules breach during the incident.

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The two-time US Open champion was confronted by senior referee Andy McFee after his opening round of 70 on Thursday and told that a viewer thought Els grounded his club in the bunker. Footage was reviewed but Els wasn't handed a two-shot penalty.

Els said he was ''digging a grave'' when he attempted to escape the hazard on No. 6 at the Castle Stuart links course.

''I was doing some bunker practice for the (British) Open next week,'' he said. ''I was slightly embarrassed out there.''

Els also made a double-bogey six on the 15th - his sixth hole after starting at No. 10 - but seven birdies allowed him to sign for 2 under, eight shots off the lead held by Francesco Molinari of Italy.

Tagged: Ernie Els

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