NCAA notebook: Slow-play penalty assessed

__By Ryan Herrington

MILTON, GA.—__During the debate about the slow-play issues facing golf at all levels, many have pointed fingers at the college game for allowing bad habits to form that lead to lengthy rounds in the pro ranks. To its credit then the NCAA D-I golf committee has put a premium on the issue at this week's championship, even when it means questioning players on some of the top teams in the country.

The threesome of Cal's__Max Homa__, Alabama's__Scott Strohmeyer__ and UCLA's Jonathan Gerrick were questioned after their second round at Capital City Club's Crabapple Course, one in which Homa shot a 65, because they had gotten two bad times during their 18 holes. After nearly an hour discussing the matter with rules officials, Gerrick wound up being assessed a one-stroke penalty.

"You sit there and they actually grill you pretty good," said Alabama coach Jay Seawell about the interview process to determine whether a penalty is warranted. "You feel like you're in a Turkish prison."

"I don't know what a Turkish prison is like," Homa noted after his meeting. "But i felt like I was in detention. They had me sit out side and told me to wait with Strohmeyer. It wasn't fun. I wouldn't wish it on anybody."

It was the first stroke penalty assessed at the NCAA Championship since the 2011 edition held at Karsten Creek GC in Stillwater, Okla.

Play to win the No. 1 seed or be fine just getting inside the top eight when the final round of stroke play begins Thursday? It was a question posed to many at the Crabapple Course and almost everyone suggested being the top-seed is the goal.

"I think you have a mindset, you want to win,"__ Seawell__ said. "Less than that I think it's a bad habit."

"Oh we want to beat everyone on the course," noted Cal's Brandon Hagy. "Yeah we definitely want the No. 1 seed.

That said, in the back of some players' minds it's nice to know just being in the top eight gets you to match play.

"I'll take eighth place, I don't really care," said Hom, noting that the final round of stroke play "is about the most stressful day of all of our lives. … As long as I'm playing in match play, I don't care."