Shanghai - England's Simon Dyson could be fined, banned or even expelled from the European Tour following his disqualification from the BMW Masters last week in Shanghai.
The European Tour announced on Thursday that he will go before a disciplinary panel to answer a charge of a "serious breach" of the tour's code of behaviour.
In joint second place after two rounds at Lake Malaren, Dyson was seen on television during his second round to tap down illegally with his ball a spike mark on the line of his putt on the eighth green and was disqualified.
He will now have to explain his actions to an independent disciplinary panel, the European Tour said in a statement issued to golf reporters in Shanghai.
"At the conclusion of the tournament, and having reviewed subsequent reports from Tournament Director Mikael Eriksson and Chief Referee John Paramor, it was decided by David Garland, Director of Tour Operations for The European Tour, that further action was required under The European Tour's Code of Behaviour and Disciplinary Procedure," said the statement issued to media at the WGC-HSBC Champions tournament at Sheshan Golf Club.
The relevant clause in the code states: "Serious Breach. If, at the conclusion of an investigation into an alleged breach of the Code by a Member, it is evident that a serious breach of the Code may have occurred, then a disciplinary hearing shall take place before an independent disciplinary panel."
The statement said Dyson was in breach of "Rule 16-1a, which states that a player must not touch his line of putt".
He should have added a two-shot penalty to his card and was therefore disqualified for signing for the wrong score.
Dyson will be given 21 days notice to face the three-man panel at a date to be determined and if found guilty will face action ranging from a reprimand to a fine, suspension or even expulsion from the tour.
The duration of the procedure leaves him free to compete in next week's Turkish Airline Open in Antalya for which he is entered, and the DP Tour Championships in Dubai the following week. But it seems unlikely he would take up his place in those fields with the case hanging over him.
"I have been informed of the procedure being put in place by The Tour following my actions during the second round of the BMW Masters in Shanghai last week and am perfectly happy to co-operate with the investigation by the independent disciplinary panel," said Dyson in a statement issued to media from his management team.
"I would like to say at this stage that I have never deliberately broken the rules either on this occasion or in the past.
"It was only after I was shown the replay of my action after marking the ball on the eighth green during the second round that I realised what I had done and that I was in breach.
"I immediately accepted that I should be disqualified.
"It was simply an accidental mistake which I have no reservations in apologising for."
Dyson had not qualified for this week's event in Shanghai and flew back to the UK on Saturday.