In his major-championship debut, American incurs 1-stroke penalty for taking too much time at Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course
American John Catlin won a special exemption to make his major-championship debut this week in the 103rd PGA, but that status earned him no favors with the tournament timekeepers.
Catlin, a 30-year-old Californian who plays primarily on the European Tour, incurred a one-stroke penalty for slow play Thursday during the first round of the PGA Championship.
According to the PGA of America, Catlin recorded his first bad time on his seventh hole, No. 16, after he started on the back nine of Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course. He took 74 seconds to play his second shot at the par-5, resulting in a warning from tournament officials, before he made par on the hole. Five holes later, at the par-4 No. 3, Catlin incurred his second bad time when he took 63 seconds to play his second shot. With the one-stroke penalty, Catlin recorded a bogey at the hole. He parred his final six holes and signed for a 3-over 75.
Catlin, who has won three times on the European Tour in the past nine months, has risen to No. 80 in the world ranking.
Slow-play penalties have been rare over the years on the PGA Tour. Perhaps the most infamous slow-play penalty at a major championship came at the 2013 Masters, when Tianlang Guan, a 14-year-old amateur from China, was assessed a one-stroke levy. He nonetheless made the cut on the number and eventually tied for 58th as the low amateur.
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