R&A declare Open season on slow play
The curse of slow play will not be a blight on Lytham, according to the British Open organisers. The players set forth today impelled to get a move on, and for those who don't, disqualification is the ultimate sanction.
Four and a half hours is the limit for three-balls over the opening two days, and three hours and 45 minutes for pairings over the weekend. It is a case of six strikes and out for those dragging feet.
The first player is expected to take no more than 50 seconds to play, the second and third 40 seconds each.
But if a player persistently goes over his time, a strict sliding scale of punishments begins with an instruction to catch up, followed by (2) on the clock, where the above times are rigidly enforced, (3) formal warning, (4) one penalty stroke, (5) two further penalty strokes, (6) disqualification.
"The R&A championship committee are putting slow play as priority," said championship committee chairman Jim McArthur.
"We are intent on doing what we can to improve the pace of play in golf.
"I think we feel that slow play is, if not killing the game, is killing club membership because of the time it takes to play. And whatever we can do in our events, we will." (© Independent News Service)