Well, the PGA Tour just sent a signal it’s taking slow play seriously—albeit in the course of an improbable event to do so.
Certainly, slow play has been a hot topic on the PGA Tour in recent seasons. For those particularly perturbed by the snail-like pace inside the ropes on pro golf’s top circuit, good news. The Tour just doled out the the first slow-play penalty since 1995.
Curiously, the Tour decided to administer the penalty in its first team competition in 36 years. Thus, not one, but two, golfers were slapped with the one-stroke penalty.
Here’s what happened: During the first first round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, Miguel Angel Carballo and Brian Campbell were penalized one shot during their 14th hole of the competition.
Angel Carballo and Campbell were warned once for not keeping up with the group in front of them. After the team’s second “bad time” (falling too far behind the acceptable pace) on the 14th hole, officials hit them with a one-stroke penalty. They went on to card an opening-round 74 in foursomes play.
Apparently, the penalty was a true team effort. MIguel Angel Carballo was the player initially warned about the pace of his play at the 12th hole. Put on the clock, Brian Campbell was the offending party at the 14th.
Prior to the first round of the Zurich Classic, no PGA Tour golfer had been issued anything more than a warning since 1995. Ironically, the last golfer to receive a slow-play penalty was Glen Day during the third round of the Honda Classic in 1995. Funny because, well, another guy with the last name Day is an unrepentant slow player on the PGA Tour currently.
Jason Day famously told reporters earlier this year that he has no intention of speeding up his play. And if anything, he’d be slowing down.
In January, Day said
“Obviously that’s a big subject in golf, to speed up the game. In my opinion, I don’t care so much about speeding up my game. I’ve got to get back to what makes me good. If that means I have to back off five times, then I’m going to back off five times before I have to actually hit the shot.”
It will be interesting to see if Day has revised this opinion in light of the PGA Tour finally pulling the penalty trigger.