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PGA Championship 2021: Rare pace of play penalty strikes at Kiawah

May 20, 2021

John Catlin reacts after a putt on the 12th green during the first round of the 2021 PGA Championship.

Sam Greenwood

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C—John Catlin, who is playing in the PGA Championship on a special exemption, received a one-shot penalty Thursday for a violation of pace of play.

According to the PGA of America, the 30-year-old Catlin—who plays on the European Tour and is 80th in the Official World Golf Ranking—recorded his first bad time on his seventh hole (hole No. 16 of the Ocean Course) after taking 74 seconds to play his second shot. This time resulted in a warning. Five holes later at No. 3, Catlin had his second bad time, taking 63 seconds to play his second shot. This second time resulted in a one-stroke pace-of-play penalty.

The PGA of America adopted a Local Rule pace-of-play policy under Rule 5.6b(3) of the Rules of Golf, which states:

Committee Pace of Play Policy. To encourage and enforce prompt play, the Committee should adopt a Local Rule setting a Pace of Play Policy. This Policy may set a maximum time to complete a round, a hole or series of holes and a stroke, and it may set penalties for not following the Policy.

Catlin finished with a three-over 75.

The last notable slow-play penalty in a men’s major came in the 2013 Masters, when then-14-year-old Tianlang Guan was assessed a one-stroke penalty in the second round after being warned four times. Guan ended up with a 75, but still made the cut for the weekend on the number.