No time to waste in the battle against slow play

Korea's Soomin Lee has been fined for slow play at the Volvo China Open.  Picture: Lintao Zhang/Getty
Korea's Soomin Lee has been fined for slow play at the Volvo China Open. Picture: Lintao Zhang/Getty
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Paul Lawrie hit the nail on the head over both the European Tour and PGA Tour handing out slow-play penalties last week. “Needs to happen more often,” tweeted the Aberdonian, reacting to the European Tour taking action against Korea’s Soomin Lee in the Volvo China Open but, at the same time, referring to golf in general.

In fairness, the European Tour has been way more proactive in the 
battle against slow play than the PGA Tour, as evidenced by the fact that the penalisation of Brian
Campbell and Miguel Angel 
Carballo during the Zurich Classic of New Orleans was the first time a player had been docked a shot on the US circuit since Glen Day back in 1995.

Yep, that’s 22 years since a player was deemed to have been guilty of slow play on the PGA Tour, which is an absolute joke when you think about how laborious players such as Jason Day, Ben Crane and many others are on a week-to-week basis and doing no good at all for the game in that respect.

It was no surprise at all to hear that big John Paramor was the man who handed out the penalty to Lee in Beijing, where the Korean had three bad times in 14 holes, and you just wish the opportunity could be afforded to see if he and other officials could have a real impact in what really should be a war against slow play.

It’s no good, really, seeing players being punished sporadically when we know it’s a problem at every event. Let’s hit them regularly and, if it’s the same offenders, then let’s increase the penalty, even to the extent that they could be banned from a future event.

Frequent action – certainly not once every 20 or so years – is the only cure for the cancer of slow play.