Padraig Harrington has been disqualified from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. On the seventh green the three-time major winner brushed the back of his ball as he replaced it in front of the marker.

Harrington did not tee off in the second round.

The Dublin thought that he had returned the ball to its spot but the ball rocked forward. The television slow motion showed that it did not return to the same spot.

This is the second time that he has been disqualified from a competition that he had a good chance of winning. Eleven years ago he was five ahead in the Benson and Hedges International. He had one round to go when it was discovered that he had not signed his first day scorecard.

Speaking after his disqualification in Abu Dhabi Harrington said “I was aware I hit the ball picking up my coin. I looked down at the time and was pretty sure it had just oscillated and had not moved, so I continued on.

"In slow motion it's pretty clear the ball has moved three dimples forward and it's come back maybe a dimple and a half.

"At the end of the day that's good enough, but I wouldn't have done anything differently yesterday - there was nothing I could do about it at that moment in time.

"If I'd called a referee over it would have been pointless because if he'd asked me where my ball was I'd have said it was there. As far as I was concerned it didn't move."

Tour senior referee Andy McFee, who also disqualified Harrington 11 years ago, stated: "I got an email from the Tour feedback site just before six o'clock last night.

"I managed to get a look and knew immediately we had an issue. I got all members of the rules committee to look at the tape.

"Because everything was closing down I decided to sleep on it and speak to Padraig first thing this morning.

"It's a minute movement, but it's a movement and he never replaced it, so he should have included a two-stroke penalty.

"The fact that he is unaware he moved the ball unfortunately does not help him. Because he signed for a score lower than actually taken the penalty is disqualification."