Tour Pro Receives Bizarre Penalty At Omega European Masters

Alexander Bjork suffered the penalty after picking his golf ball up on the fairway, despite preferred lies not being in place during the third round

Alexander Bjork speaks to his caddie
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ryder Cup hopeful Alexander Bjork remains in contention for victory at the Omega European Masters, despite a bizarre error that saw the Swede docked a stroke early in the third round.

Bjork started the day in the final group alongside former US Open winner Matt Fitzpatrick and, after finding the fairway with his tee shot on the par-four fourth, decided to pick up his ball before hitting his second. For the first two rounds in Switzerland, preferred lies had been in play for all golfers, but this was not the case on Saturday.

The unfortunate error was swiftly caught and punished, with the 33-year-old receiving a one-shot penalty for the mistake. Despite that, Bjork responded in superb fashion with a pin-point iron into the green allowing him to save par and avoid dropping a shot.

From there, he would make three birdies in the next five holes, as the Swede improved upon his overnight score with a front-nine 33 to move to -12. Currently, he remains in the mix at the top of the leaderboard alongside Fitzpatrick, with a host of other contenders looking to win or make a case for a Ryder Cup place. 

Fitzpatrick had moved further ahead early in round three, but was pegged back by a costly three-putt on the par-five ninth. Bjork will most likely need a victory to force the hand of Luke Donald, while Ludvig Aberg and Nicolai Hojgaard are another two who will be seeking to impress the European captain, who announces his six picks for Marco Simone after the conclusion of this tournament.

Ben Fleming

Ben joined Golf Monthly having completed his NCTJ in multimedia sports journalism at News Associates, London. He has covered a variety of sports and has also worked as a freelance journalist for The Independent and Stats Perform. An avid, albeit distinctly average golfer, he is a member of Nevill Golf Club. One of his best golfing moment was winning a 100/1 bet on Seamus Power and Thomas Detry to finish first and second at the 2022 Bermuda Championship.