The Golf Blog: Did LPGA go too far in penalizing Morgan Pressel for slow play?

mulligan, 21 May 2012, Comments Off on The Golf Blog: Did LPGA go too far in penalizing Morgan Pressel for slow play?
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The Golf Blog says: The beautiful Spaniard Azahara Munoz won the Sybase Match Play Championship on Sunday, but not without some controversy in the semifinal match against Morgan Pressel. Pressel looked like she was 3-up after 12 holes, but then an LPGA Rules Official told her she lost the hole, receiving a slow play penalty for taking 39 seconds more than the allotted 30 seconds per shot (90 seconds total) to play her 3 shots on the 12th hole. Because of the penalty, Pressel was only 1 up and then ended up losing 15, 16, and 17–and the match. In another odd turn of events, Pressel alleged that Munoz grounded her putter in front of her line on the 15th hole, violating a rule, but the Rules Official determined no violation had occurred (or at least it was inconclusive).

After the match, Pressel eventually gave Munoz a hug and smoothed over their disagreement. (More)

We didn’t see this match, but, based on the news report, we think the LPGA Rules Official made a huge mistake. The LPGA struggles for viewership and a following. Morgan Pressel is one of the few Americans who may be recognizable beyond the small LPGA audience. To penalize Pressel in a semifinal match for 39 seconds over the time limit makes no sense. Are we really talking about only 39 seconds?

Bottom Line: The Rules Official should not decide who wins a semifinal match. But unfortunately that’s what ended up happening. The LPGA will continue to wallow in obscurity if it continues to shoot itself in the foot.


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