Slow Play to be More Costly in 2003

By Associated PressJanuary 8, 2003, 5:00 pm
KAPALUA, Hawaii -- Slow players are going to pay the price this year on the PGA Tour, and it won't just come from their bank accounts.
 
In its ongoing quest to improve the pace of play, the tour has devised a penalty scale that gives players only one warning for slow play before rules officials assess a one-stroke penalty, which goes along with increased fines.
 
Even getting timed for being out of position could be costly. In the biggest change of all, anyone who gets put on the clock 10 times during the year will be fined $20,000.
 
'This will get their attention,' said Henry Hughes, the tour's chief of operations.
 
It already has.
 
Players were talking about the new policy as soon as they arrived at Kapalua for the season-opening Mercedes Championships.
 
Most of them were hopeful it would work.
 
'It's about time,' Vijay Singh said. 'The only problem with that is, are they going to enforce it? I think you need to put in a no-warning, one-stroke penalty. They know who's slow out there.'
 
Until this year, the tour's penalty scale allowed for two warnings before players were assessed a one-stroke penalty for taking too long. Players are allowed 40 seconds for each shot, with an extra 20 seconds for the player who goes first.
 
Under the new policy:
 
  • One bad time during a round is a warning.
  • Two bad times is a one-stroke penalty and a $5,000 fine.
  • Three bad times is a two-stroke penalty and a $10,000 fine.
  • Four bad times means the player is disqualified.
     
    'Our goal is to enforce the pace-of-play regulations and to draw attention to the pace-of-play regulations,' Hughes said.
     
    What has some players concerned is the accumulative policy for being put on the clock, even if a player hits his shot within the allotted time.
     
    When a group gets out of position -- defined by an open hole ahead of them -- each player in that group is considered to be on the clock. The 10th time a player is put on the clock during the year results in a $20,000 fine.
     
    That means if a fast player keeps winding up in groups with notoriously slow players, he could get put on the clock 10 times and face a big fine, even though he's done nothing wrong.
     
    The reason for the accumulative policy is that slow players, once warned that they're on the clock, tend to speed up and never suffer the consequence. Still, that led Nick Price to wonder, 'If I'm in a convenience store when it gets robbed, does that make me guilty?'
     
    Rules official Jon Brendle said players can always appeal, and Hughes doesn't see fast players put in that predicament.
     
    'It's possible, but when you look at it historically, it's not probable,' he said. 'We think peer pressure will be a factor.'
     
    Whether the new policies make a difference remains to be seen. The onus falls on rules officials to be willing to assess a one-stroke penalty, even to the point of disqualification. Twenty-two tournaments were decided by one stroke last year.
     
    Singh remains skeptical.
     
    'They can do whatever they want, but it's not going to do any good,' he said. 'Guys will start off like a greyhound, and finish like a poodle.'
     
    Tiger update
     
    Tiger Woods is out of the snow and on his bike.
     
    Woods returned from a brief vacation in Sweden with his girlfriend and began rehabilitation on his left knee from surgery Dec. 12 to remove fluid around the ligaments.
     
    'It's definitely getting better,' Woods said on his Web site (www.tigerwoods.com). 'At least I'm able to get out and do stuff. I'm doing a lot of cardio rehab on an exercise bike. I should be ready for the Tour de France by mid-July.'
     
    Woods began putting late last week. He declined to speculate on when he might return, although the target is the Buick Invitational at Torrey Pines, Feb, 13-16.
     
    'I don't want to play in pain again,' Woods said. 'However long the doctor says to wait, that's what I'm going to do. Once he gives me the OK to practice, that's it.'
     
    Woods said he enjoyed his time in Sweden, where temperatures were 20 below zero, but he could have done without the paparazzi camped outside the house.
     
    'They didn't leave for 2 1/2 days, which was very unfortunate,' he said. 'We kept telling them, 'Why don't you go home and spend the holidays with your families?''
     

    Big money
     
    The winner of the Mercedes Championships gets $1 million and a new sports car, the start of big things to come.
     
    Under the new television contract that starts this year, total prize money on the PGA Tour will be about $235 million. Of the 12 tournaments that pay at least $1 million to the winner, three are regular PGA Tour events -- Mercedes, Wachovia Championship and the Byron Nelson Classic.
     
    The others are the four majors, three World Golf Championships, The Players Championship and the Tour Championship.
     
    The WGC events increased their total purse to $6 million each. The Players is still listed at $6 million, but likely will increase by the time it is played in late March.
     
    All but seven tournaments have purses of at least $4 million.
     
    GWAA honors
     
    Jeff Julian and New York Times columnist Dave Anderson were honored by the Golf Writers Association of America.
     
    Julian, was has been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, won the Ben Hogan Award for a player who continues to be active despite a physical handicap or serious illness. Julian played seven times last year and attempted to try Q-school before pulling out after the second round.
     
    Anderson was given the William D. Richardson Award for consistent and outstanding contributions to golf.
     
    Divots
     
    Jim Furyk is the only player who has played in the Mercedes Championships all five years since it moved to Kapalua. Knee surgery forced Tiger Woods to skip this year and Phil Mickelson has not played in the last two. ... David Duval says he will start his season at the Phoenix Open, Jan. 23-26.
     
    Stat of the week
     
    Only eight of the 36 players at Kapalua played in the Mercedes Championships last year.
     
    Final word
     
    'I had a better time snowboarding in two weeks than I had all year playing golf.' -- David Duval.
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    Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

    Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

    The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...


    2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia


    And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

    Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

    He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

    Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

    Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

    Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

    Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

    Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

    Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title


    Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

    Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

    Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open


    Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

    Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

    Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59


    Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

    Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63


    Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

    Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut


    Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

    Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club


    Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

    Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth


    The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ


    Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year


    And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

    Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win


    Photo Galleries: Best of ...

    Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

    Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm

    Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

    By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

    The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

    They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

    Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

    Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

    Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

    ''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

    The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

    In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

    Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.