Michael Hoey bowed out of the Northern Ireland Open Challenge after a disappointing second round 76 at Galgorm Castle on Friday.
The tournament ambassador effectively put an end to his chances by calling a two-shot penalty on himself at his second hole of the day, the 11th.
“The ball was sitting in a clump. It might have moved down, it might have oscillated,” said Michael.
“I was 70 per cent sure it might have moved. It was hard to say really but I decided to go against myself.”
Hoey discussed the matter with his playing partners and finally got confirmation of the penalty as he lined up a birdie chance at the 18th.
“I knew the cut would be level or one under.
“I started being really aggressive on the front nine with my putting.
“Some of them lipped out, but I putted terrible.
“I was going for everything and hitting them too hard.
“It’s disappointing. I just didn’t really have any oomph this week,” he added.
“Maybe it was just the fact that I had to do a lot of stuff this week, or maybe I’m just not 100 per cent.
“If I could have holed one putt to get some momentum, I definitely think I could have made the cut.
“But when you don’t hole anything and then you start to go for everything, and your pace is off - and mine was off for the last two days, then you are going to be miles away.”
Young Dutchman, Daan Huizing leads the way after posting a second round five under 66 to move to 11 under and into a four stroke advantage over England’s Ross McGowan and Sweden’s Jens Danthorp.
In testing blustery conditions, Huizing dropped just one shot on the first hole before producing a classy display of ball-striking to finish with three birdies in his last four holes to move clear of the field.
“The conditions were quite tough but I actually enjoy playing with a breeze like that because it helps me to focus and allows you to shape the ball and try to use the wind to your advantage in some ways,” said Huizing.
In the absence of Hoey and Alan Dunbar who also departed yesterday, the home challenge is lead by Michael McGeady, Jonathan Caldwell, Neill O’Briain and Ballymena amateur Dermot McElroy who are all on five under par.
Playing in the morning, Caldwell actually got to seven under at one stage, but dropped two shots over his closing holes to sign for a second round 69.
“It’s been a fairly poor season so far,” said the Clandeboye professional.
“I have been putting poorly but I seem to have found something this week.”