One Penalty and Slow Play Disappears
by Jeff Skinner
“Hooks and Slices” will bring you our view on whats happening in the golf world.
While watching The Players Championship last week we got to see many shots of Kevin Na. He was in the hunt so NBC gave him a fair share of screen time. His playing partner was Masters Champ Angel Cabrera who played himself out of the contest early so we saw little of him. In fact the only time we saw him was when he was storming off in front of Na after Na was taking an eternity to play his shot. Michael Bamberger gives his slant on the Cabrera/Na pairing. Cabrera must have lost it on Saturday night when he realized he was paired with Na. Cabrera is one of the fastest players in the world. He looks, he swings, and he walks, very simple. Na is the polar opposite. He looks, looks, looks, looks, checks wind, looks, looks…you get the idea. That was a nightmare pairing for Cabrera and it showed. Slow play is a problem that goes unchecked on the PGA Tour. No one gets penalized for slow play. Ben Crane and Kevin Na are recognized as very slow players. Paddy Harrington might be the slowest of the elite players and Tiger has been known to throw up a few extra handfuls of grass or take two or three walks around the green. The LPGA has been proactive in its policing of slow play and you get penalized strokes and fined. If the PGA wanted to speed up play, and God knows they should, I have the solution. They should announce that they will be enforcing the slow play guidelines for any violation. Then at the next tournament Tiger plays, when he gets on the clock and he tosses grass one too many times…penalize him. Hit him with a stroke penalty and a fine (big deal, unless it’s a million) and see what happens. After the dust settles from the firestorm that Woods creates, play will move along nicely. Ben Crane and Kevin Na and the rest of the tour will be thinking, “If they can do it to Woods, we are in trouble.” Play away boys…..in four and a half hours please!
In spite of the rainy conditions there were plenty of red numbers at the LPGA’s Sybase Classic. There are six players at -5 or better and Helen Alfredsson leads at ten under. Brittany Lincicome continues to be hot and finished at eight under, one stroke ahead of Suzann Pettersen.
The leader board at the Valero Texas Open is a blast from the past. Janzen, Duval and Paven are near the top. Everybody’s favorite “everyman,” Paul Goydos is tied with Justin Leonard for the lead at seven under.