124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2

The Loop

'A slow player tightens noose around his own neck'

August 30, 2009

European Tour officials continue to carry the banner on behalf of speeding up play around the world, for which Eirik Tage Johansen is the latest posted boy. Johansen was hit with a slow-play fine for the second week running, this time in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.

He was fined £500 for slow play at the KLM Open the previous week. At Gleneagles, the fine was £4,000. Mark Garrod, golf correspondent for the Press Association, wrote this:

"He took 19 seconds too long over a tee shot during his second round and because it was his second "bad time" of the year he was fined £4,000.

"'A slow player tightens the noose around his own neck,' said the Tour's senior referee Andy McFee. 'If he has another bad time it would be £6,000.'"

Better were the penalty to be strokes rather than money, but at least someone somewhere is wielding the prod in an attempt to alleviate the scourge of slow play. Recall that it was a European Tour official (John Paramor) who triggered a controversy by issuing a slow-play warning to Padraig Harrington and Tiger Woods at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

-- John Strege