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Rules

LPGA Tour rookie Lucy Li incurs slow-play fine during third round of Chevron Championship

April 22, 2023
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Lucy Li, shown hitting a shot during the first round of the Chevron Championship, incurred a slow-play fine by the LPGA on Saturday.

Carmen Mandato

THE WOODLANDS, Texas — A slow day during the third round of the Chevron Championship at Carlton Woods turned into an expensive one for LPGA Tour rookie Lucy Li. Following her round Saturday, the LPGA confirmed to Golf Digest that Li received a fine due to slow play on the seventh hole. The tour did not disclose the amount of the fine.

“The group received a warning and was timed, as is our policy, before the fine,” an LPGA spokesperson said in a text.

The official explained that Li's group received a warning "several" holes before it was determined a fine would be instituted. According to the tour, Gaby Lopez and Pavarisa Yokutan—the others in the group with Li that teed off at 10:06 a.m. local time on Saturday—were not fined. Li did not receive a penalty for slow play, which could have cost her two strokes. She shot four-over-par 76 in the third round and stood at three over, tied for 52nd place.

Li is best known for holding the current records as the youngest qualifier for both the U.S. Women's Open and U.S. Women's Amateur. She skipped college and turned pro in 2019 and played on the developmental Epson Tour until graduating in 2022 on the strength of a season that included two victories.

Per tour policy, which Golf Digest obtained and reviewed, groups first receive an official warning. Afterward, their pace of play must meet the average expected times to complete a certain number of strokes. The tour allows 30 seconds per shot for average expected times.

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The "fineable plus time" is 1 to 10 seconds greater than the tour's average allotted time to complete a certain number of strokes a hole. Beyond 11 seconds is where a rules official can enforce stroke penalties.

Li’s agent, Jonathan Chafe, did not provide any comment when approached by Golf Digest, explaining he did not have knowledge of the full details.

As witnessed by Golf Digest, shortly after Li, 20, signed for her 76, a tournament rules official approached Li near the scoring tent and asked to talk. After walking away from the media flash interview area to near the shuttle area, they had a five-minute conversation.

After the end of the discussion, Li and her caddie walked through the autograph area and went towards the clubhouse. She met with her agent and appeared to express frustration, taking her visor off before the group walked away to the clubhouse.

The tour did not disclose if Li, as she's allowed, appealed the fine. She can appeal up until the conclusion of the Chevron.

The fine follows a challenging third round in which Li posted a double bogey on the third, and then back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 13 and 14. The Californian has been up and down at the first major of the year. She opened with a 74, but bounced back with a 69 on Friday to have a chance for her third straight top-25 finish.

Li is making the seventh major start of her career and second at the Chevron. She finished T-70 at Mission Hills in 2017 as a 14-year-old.