AVONDALE, La. – Finally, after 22 years, the ever-deliberate Glen Day is off the clock.
The PGA Tour, in a bizarre twist as it stages its first official team event in 36 years this week at TPC Louisiana, issued teammates Brian Campbell and Miguel Angel Carballo the Tour’s first pace-of-play penalty in more than two decades, or since Day was penalized at the 1995 Honda Classic.
It was discovered early Friday at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans that Campbell-Carballo were penalized one shot after the team received its second bad time on the 14th hole in the opening-day foursomes session. It turned a par into a bogey at the par-3 14th and turned the team’s 1-over 73 into a 74.
Carballo (12th hole) and Campbell (14th) each received one bad time after their group was put on the clock beginning on the 10th hole. Because the format was foursomes, and one ball was in play, it was deemed the team had two bad times, and thus was penalized a shot.
“Bad situation, with the new format and how quick the pace of play is,” Campbell told Golfweek shortly before teeing off in Round 2 Friday. “(The situation) didn’t really give us a chance to adapt, I guess.”
Campbell and Carballo, originally alternates in this event who got in as a team when Kevin Chappell (already in the field) captured the Valero Texas Open on Sunday, were paired with two local club professionals from the Gulf States PGA Section, section champion Kyle Ramey and his partner, Phil Schmitt, who played at LSU. The group fell out of position on the 10th hole, and an official notified both teams they were on the clock.
Carballo (warning) and Campbell (penalty) each failed to play shots within the 40 seconds allowed under the pace-of-play policy, and were informed on 14 that they’d be penalized a stroke. Ramey and Schmitt had one bad time, and received a warning.
“Team event, we’re playing with section pros, who were struggling a bit, hate to say it, but it kind of put us behind the clock,” Campbell said. “When you keep hitting bad shots, it’s hard to catch up time.”
There have been slow-play penalties administered at major championships since 1995, but not at a regular PGA Tour event. Campbell appeared frustrated by the fact that the big-picture situation (quicker-paced format, club pros, windy conditions) didn’t seem to be considered.
“I felt they never really gave us a chance to state our case,” Campbell said. “It was kind of ‘policy is policy.’ We got a bad time, it’s a stroke.”
With a pace-of-play penalty not imposed on Tour since 1995, Steve Carman, tournament director at the PGA Tour and on site at Zurich, said the situation certainly was “unique,” with the format playing a role. The PGA Tour last played any sort of foursomes format (Scotch foursomes, in which each team member hits a tee shot) in 1934, and never had played foursomes in its true form until this week.
“Typically, when somebody receives their first bad time in a round, they definitely alter their pace to pick things up,” Carman said. “Because this is a team event, and there are two individual players involved, it might have contributed to the second bad time.”
In four-ball, which was Friday’s format, a player (not team) would have had to violate pace-of-play regulations two times in order to incur a penalty. If Carballo and Campbell each had one bad time, they would only receive a warning. A player has 40 seconds to play a shot.
“Typically, once a player receives a bad time, he alters his practice and starts running” Carman said. “Therefore the time it takes him to play a stroke is drastically reduced.
“Foursomes, only one ball is in play, so it applies to the team.”