Friday, March 7, 2008

Doug Ferguson Sticks It to the Tour on Slow Play

The venerable, Hawaiian shirt sporting AP golf writer really does a number on the recent complaints about slow play on Tour - from Tiger to Adam Scott.

Complaints about slow play on the PGA TOUR have been around forever, which is about how long it has been since anyone was given a one-stroke penalty for taking too long to hit a shot.

Actually, it was 16 years ago at the Byron Nelson Classic. And the victim of that one-stroke penalty is now a rules official who carries a stop watch.

“It was in Dallas,” Dillard Pruitt said Tuesday. “For two bad times in a round, I got a one-stroke penalty, a $1,000 fine and I had to play in the last group the next two weeks as long as it wasn’t an invitational. That one stroke cost me $9,600 official money. The fact I can still remember that tells you something.”
Hey now, Doug. It is the Byron Nelson Championship now, sponsored by EDS, and all records and attributes from previous editions of the championship under other monikers carries over now.

Here's the rule for the PGA Tour for slow play:
Once a group falls out of position and is put on the clock, the first player to hit is allowed 60 seconds; the others get 40 seconds. There is no penalty for the first bad time. The second bad time carries a one-stroke penalty, the third offense is a two-stroke penalty, and a fourth bad time is disqualification.
The LPGA Tour rule is that you get 30 seconds per shot to complete the hole plus 10 grace period seconds. First offense, you are penalized. Reads a lot different, doesn't it?

So, with so many chances, it's no wonder that no one gets penalized and especially not DQ'd.
[S]low players tend to play faster when told they are on the clock. Fulton Allem once compared this to a state trooper who pulls over a motorist for going 100 mph. Instead of writing a ticket, the trooper says he will follow the driver for the next five miles to make sure he doesn’t speed.

No comments: