ST ALBANS, England – English golfers Andy Sullivan and Chris Wood want to see more players handed one-shot penalties and named and shamed for slow play following the European Tour’s inaugural GolfSixes tournament.
The six-hole format featured a shot clock on the fourth hole. Players were initially allowed 40 seconds in the opening session before the time was reduced to 30 seconds for remaining sessions.
Paul Peterson was the only player to incur a one-shot penalty for exceeding the time limit. He breached the 40-second limit in Team USA’s halved match against Wales which cost he and David Lipsky a place in the quarterfinals.
“Personally, I just think they need to be stricter with it on the Tour,” Sullivan said. “This week, everyone was quicker because they knew as soon as it (the shot clock) went to zero, they were getting a shot penalty. Whereas in a normal event, you’ve got that little bit of leniency.”
Wood said naming and shaming should be part and parcel of the process.
“Someone got done (penalized) yesterday, and he’s probably humiliated today,” Wood said. “I think that’s quite a lot to do with it, the naming and shaming. Sully is right, there’s too much leniency. Players are to blame, hold your hands up there, but referees can be stronger on occasion.”
Sullivan said the fact only one player was penalized during GolfSixes was proof tournament golf didn’t have to be played at a glacial pace.
“It proves everyone can play that quickly,” Sullivan said.
Wood said the one-shot threat must be real.
“It’s knowing there’s a shot penalty,” Wood added. “A shot matters to world ranking, to Ryder Cup points. That means an awful lot than any monetary fine.”