Mark Hensby withdraws from Palmetto after 10-shot penalty

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Mark Hensby was in position to make his first PGA Tour cut in five years. Instead, he’ll remember the Palmetto Championship for a very different reason.

The 49-year-old Aussie was 2-over after the first eight holes Thursday when he realized his mistake. His golf ball had a small dot on it. He had been using an incorrect ball, which resulted in 10 penalty strokes and his early withdrawal.

“I asked my caddie, ‘Hey what’s this dot on the ball? I’ve never noticed this before; did they do something with the new pro V1?’ ” he told “And he didn’t know, so I asked my playing partners, and they were like, ‘That’s a low spin ball.’ Now I don’t use this ball, so there was a lot of confusion where it came from — none of my others had the dot — but we knew I had played the wrong ball.”

He was docked two strokes for every hole he played with the wrong ball. Hensby guessed it had started on the fourth hole when his third shot went into the water and he was forced to take a drop. He finished with a 13-over 84.

“After I got the penalty obviously it was tough from that point on, and it was a shame because I knew my tournament was over,” Hensby said.

He pulled out of the tournament, telling the website he was stiff following a long drive. It was believed Hensby wound up with the wrong ball after he and Pat Perez inadvertently switched on the practice green prior to the opening round.

“Somehow I picked up one of Pat’s balls and he ended up with one of mine,” Hensby said. “I only found this out because Titleist wanted to get to the bottom of it. I thought they had a wrong ball in the sleeve that I had. If you look at both balls it’s hard to know the difference. It’s not like one is black and one is red. They’re both black, but one has a small dot on it, and one doesn’t.

“Unfortunately, I didn’t notice that. I’m glad he didn’t use mine.”

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