July 20, 2013; Gullane, United Kingdom; Hideki Matsuyama at the 2nd tee during the third round of the 2013 The Open Championship at Muirfield Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Paul Cunningham-USA TODAY Sports

2013 British Open: Hideki Matsuyama Penalized for Slow Play

If the course conditions at the British Open at Muirfield don’t get ya, the officials will; Hideki Matsuyama was only thee shots behind the leaders on Saturday when he was assessed a penalty for slow play on the 17th hole, evidently taking too long to hit his shot out of the rough. Matsuyama went from a par to a bogey on the hole, a crushing blow considering how difficult is has been for golfers to record good scores on the treacherous course.

The Royal & Ancient golf society said Matsuyama and partner Johnson Wagner were 15 minutes behind schedule. Wagner defended Matsuyama after their round (via Yahoo! Sports):

Given his position in the tournament, and given the shot he faced on 17 — laying it up out of the fescue over the gorse and pot bunkers — I don’t think he took too long. I think he executed a really good shot and under the situation, I think it’s tragic. And I think the R&A should use better judgment.

While David Rickman, the R&A’s rules director, defended the penalty, Wagner wasn’t buying it:

They said they gave him extra time. But his caddie had to pace all the way to the fairway, 100 yards to get his carry number. I’m as against slow play as anybody, and I respect everything everybody is doing. But man, the kid was playing great today … and I think it’s terrible that he got penalized.

Matsuyama now trails leader Lee Westwood by six strokes.

[Source: Yahoo! Sports]


Tags: British Open Hideki Matsuyama Johnson Wagner Muirfield

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