Munoz and Morgan Pressel played noticeably slow during their semifinal match at Hamilton Farm Golf Club, although Munoz was admittedly slower. They were warned about slow play on the ninth hole and put on the clock after the 11th. And that's when things got really interesting.
Pressel won the 12th hole with a par to take seemingly a 3-up lead, but before she teed off on No. 13, tour official Doug Brecht told her that she had taken two minutes and nine seconds to play her three shots on the par-3 12th, 29 seconds over the 30-second limit per shot. Her loss-of-hole penalty knocked her 3-up lead down to 1-up.
The incident, and the events that followed, created a stir not only at Hamilton Farm, but also on Twitter.
According to LPGA officials, Morgan Pressel took 129 seconds to play her 3 shots on par-3 12th hole, 57 seconds for tee shot. ...— Bill Fields(@BillFields1) May 20, 2012
Morgan Pressel would have won 12th hole with a par if she had not been given "loss of hole" penalty for slow-play violation.— Bill Fields(@BillFields1) May 20, 2012
Was the assessment of this penalty necessary? Some viewers used Twitter to express their feelings.
Terrible ruling on the Morgan Pressel match. Where was the slow play on that hole???— Phil Caccamise (@philcaccamise) May 20, 2012
Good for the LPGA tour giving Morgan Pressel loss of hole penalty for slow play. Come on PGA Tour catch up.— Simon Plumb (@simonjplumb) May 20, 2012
In LPGA semi, Morgan Pressel given slow play penalty; accused Azahara Munoz of touching putting line. They may have played some golf, too.— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelGC) May 20, 2012
Pressel lost the match when she bogeyed the next two holes (including a missed 3-foot par putt on the 17th hole).
Morgan Pressel is now crying tears during her Golf Channel interview. I thought she was a better sport than that.— E! (@FigStation) May 20, 2012
Officially not a Morgan Pressel fan after that seriously unnecessary awkwardness. Wow. Go Aza! #LPGA— Joel Harrington (@harringtonjoel) May 20, 2012
Perhaps Morgan Pressel went to the same charm school as Dottie Pepper.— Simon Plumb (@simonjplumb) May 20, 2012
Pretty sure Morgan Pressel just lost a few fans in that @SybaseMatchPlay semifinal ... blew off the reporter/sent her friend to tears— Jeremy Pond (@Jeremydpond) May 20, 2012
Let's all hope Kevin Na and Morgan Pressel don't have a baby who plays 7 hour rounds.— Brian Cass (@BuryMeAtBalty) May 20, 2012
After hearing the interview my opinion has changed. Morgan Pressel is a class act. She handled the situation with grace. Well done!— E! (@FigStation) May 20, 2012
Heather Daly-Donofrio, the senior vice president of tour operations, says that two other LPGA Tour players have been penalized for slow play this year, and five were penalized last year. Meanwhile, the PGA Tour has not issued a slow-play stroke penalty in more than a decade.
Give the LPGA Tour a triple bogey for slow-play penalty on Morgan Pressel that cost her the match. There were four people on the course!— Craig Dolch (@CraigDolch) May 20, 2012
@JayCoffinGC Can't continue to highlight slow play, but not assess the penalties. PGA should take a lesson.— Blake Denby (@heisatouchdown) May 21, 2012
[Related: Q&A with Morgan Pressel]