ST ALBANS, England – Paul Peterson made European Tour history in the opening round of the $1.1 million GolfSixes tournament that cost Team USA a place in Sunday’s knockout rounds: the Arizona native became the first player in the event, and only player on the opening day, to pick up a one shot-penalty.
The 28-year-old left-hander went over the allotted 40-second time limit to play Team USA’s second shot on the fourth hole in a second session match against Wales.
The United States team of Peterson and David Lipsky opted to play Lipsky’s tee shot on the par-4 fourth. Peterson was just getting ready to hit when the 40-second time limit ran out. That one-shot penalty cost Team USA a win over Wales, with the teams having to settle for a tied match.
“I figured maybe my caddie might have mentioned that I’ve got ten (seconds),” said Peterson, who played college golf for Oregon State. “It was behind me so when the guy said you’ve gone over your time, I had no idea. We haven’t been close in the first round or on the tee shots so I thought I had all the time in the world. I was pretty caught out there.
“I really don’t know what was going on. It would have been really nice to have the shot clock in front of me being left-handed.
“It’s really unfortunate because I feel like I let my team down. We played so well. We birdied the first three holes and obviously got that penalty when I felt like we were building momentum.”
The American pair defeated Portugal in the third session, but finished the group in third place and failed to advance to the knockout stages.
Team USA ended up with four points in Group C. Portugal and Australia had six points apiece. Portugal topped the group and Australia finished second. Had they beaten Wales, Peterson and Lipsky would have placed second ahead of Australia on a better “total holes won” differential and advanced to the knockout rounds.