Posted May 16, 2012 on AP on Fox
In more peaceful times, when Tiger Woods had gone six months without losing and golf seemed to revolve around him, he ended a monthly newsletter with a rare trip to the soap box to complain about the pace of play on the U.S. PGA Tour. ''Before I go, I would like to talk about slow play,'' Woods wrote. ''It's been an ongoing problem on the tour for a long time.'' That was in 2008. When he finished The Players Championship on Sunday, Woods measured progress with one word. ''Worse,'' he said. On the eve of The Players Championship commissioner Tim Finchem was asked if the tour felt a sense of urgency to play faster and an obligation to set an example for golfers everywhere. His answer included this nugget that made little sense. ''I actually think we might want to experiment with penalty shots,'' Finchem said. ''But I don't think penalty shots make a difference, to be honest with you.'' How would he know? This week at the Byron Nelson Championship marks the 20-year anniversary of the last time a U.S. PGA Tour player was assessed a one-shot penalty for taking too much time. That was Dillard Pruitt, now a rules official who carries a stopwatch. That one stroke wound up costing him $9,600 - when $9,600 actually meant something. He was fined $1,000, and he was relegated to play in the last group for the next two weeks. Stewart Cink was asked about progress with the pace of play. A few years ago, he was fined $20,000 for getting put on the clock 10 times in a season, and he has worked to improve. ''Is it because of the leader?'' Cink replied on Sunday as Players Championship third-round leader Kevin Na was headed to the practice range. Na was only joking - we think - when he spoke about his battle to pull the trigger and his bizarre habit of purposely missing on a swing so he could start over. ''But just bear with me, and hopefully we get that (Sunday) round in,'' Na said. It's easy to pick on Na. He is changing his swing and fighting some demons to get comfortable over the ball. He became a sympathetic figure to some in the media for his honesty and his pledge to try harder, though it should be pointed out that Na has been slow ever since he joined the tour. Not so sympathetic were some in the gallery who shouted out, ''Pull the trigger!'' and ''Hit it!'' to reverse effect. He had to back off shots and wound up taking even longer. Slow play has been part of the conversation all season. Luke Donald was on holiday in Barbados when he was watching the final round of the season-opener in Hawaii, which featured Na, Jonathan Byrd, Ben Crane and Webb Simpson in the last four groups. He took to Twitter and ended one plea by saying, ''Slow play is killing our sport.'' Finchem addressed the broader problem, which represents somewhat of a Catch-22. Ask just about any rules official and they would say the size of fields make it nearly impossible to get around in a reasonable time. Can anyone remember the last time the cut was made on a Friday at Riviera? That's why the Masters gets nervous when its field size approaches 100 players. But to reduce the field is to take away playing opportunities, the very thing Finchem is determined to provide. It's not a simple solution. ''We elect not to do that,'' Finchem said. ''Because as much as we like to see a stronger pace of play, the playing opportunities for the number of players we have had are more important. We'll generate the playing opportunities first, and take our lumps second. It's as simple as that.'' Solutions are not that easy to find or this would have been fixed years ago. And it's not fair to compare the pace on tour with how long it takes to play golf at your local club. In recreational golf, the pins aren't four paces from the edge of the green, tucked behind bunkers. The greens aren't as firm as a hardwood floor. A putt isn't worth $399,000, which is what it cost Rickie Fowler when he missed that 8-footer on his last hole on Sunday. The problem on the U.S. PGA Tour might be attitude. Donald said what annoys him most is when a player does not starting thinking about his next shot until it's his turn. The way it has gone for the last 20 years, why hurry when no one else does? ''We know when they drive up and tell us to hurry up, it means nothing,'' Geoff Ogilvy said. ''When I first came out and someone told me to hurry up, I got all flustered and was rushing. Now, it's a laugh. Yeah, we'll try. But some guys don't even try because they don't do anything. ''I bet if you polled the tour, half the fast players would say, `Give me penalties,' just to scare everyone.'' Or maybe the tour could try a perk instead of a punishment. ''You want to help slow play?'' said Roger Maltbie, the TV analyst and former U.S. PGA Tour winner. ''Hand them their cards on the first tee and say, `If you bring this back to us in less than four hours, you can take a stroke off your score.' Let's see how that works.'' It couldn't hurt.

Kevin Na's great shot makes golf announcer curse (Video)

Golfer Kevin Na hit a great shot off the cart path onto the green at the 18th hole during Sunday's final round of The Players Championship. In the midst of expressing his excitement over Na's amazing shot, a Golf Channel announcer accidentally cursed on live television. (DISCLAIMER: NSFW language at the 40 second mark of this video. Turn the volume down if the kids...

Kevin Na hit a shot so amazing on Sunday that it forced an announcer to drop a s-bomb

Kevin Na took time out from playing slow and being heckled and booed during his meltdown on Sunday to hit an amazing approach shot on the 18th hole. Na, whose prior shot was so badly placed that he decided to drop on the golf cart, calmly took his shot and put the ball on the green. The shot was so amazing that an announcer couldn’t contain himself from dropping a s-bomb. H/T SBNation

Tiger Woods is sick of the slow rate of play on the PGA tour

Tiger Woods has had plenty of issues over the past couple of years. Many of them have been mental and some have been physical. After another forgettable finish at the Players Championship over the weekend, something else was bothering Woods: rate of play. “Last week, we were playing 4:40 (on Thursday and Friday at Quail Hollow) and there’s no wind,” Tiger explained according...

Slow play shows up at worst time

In more peaceful times, when Tiger Woods had gone six months without losing and golf seemed to revolve around him, he ended a monthly newsletter with a rare trip to the soap box to complain about the pace of play on the U.S. PGA Tour. ''Before I go, I would like to talk about slow play,'' Woods wrote. ''It's been an ongoing problem on the tour for a long...

NBC golf announcer graduates from the Ron Jaworski school of casual swearing

I watched most of the Final Round of The Players Championship on Sunday and still managed to miss this slip in censorship from NBC's coverage.  As Matt Kuchar strolled down the 18th on his way to the most significant victory in his professional career, playing partner Kevin Na found himself to the right of the fairway on the cartpath.  Na had lost the lead earlier in the day...

NBC's Johnny Miller drops an 's-bomb' following a Na shot

40 second mark. Johnny Miller drops an 's-bomb' following Kevin Na's shot on 18 at the Player's Championship. Johnny was probably just shocked that Na hit the damn ball. Every time you check... Full story at Bob's Blitz ~

Woods will try for 5th Memorial Tournament win

Tiger Woods will try for a fifth Memorial Tournament title starting later this month. Woods has accepted an invitation to play in the tournament founded by Jack Nicklaus. So have Jason Day, Bill Haas and Sunday's winner of the Players Championship, Matt Kuchar. The 37th Memorial will be played May 31-June 3 at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Woods won the Memorial in 1999, 2000...

NBC airs swearing live

Kevin Na was bothering people all weekend with his tick, but this was the shot of the day, and it drew out a little cussing on air by an NBC commentator. Oops. Oh well. H/T Business Insider

Slow play shows up at the worst time for PGA Tour

(Eds: With AP Photos.) By DOUG FERGUSON AP Golf Writer In more peaceful times, when Tiger Woods had gone six months without losing and golf seemed to revolve around him, he ended a monthly newsletter with a rare trip to the soap box to complain about the pace of play on the PGA Tour. ''Before I go, I would like to talk about slow play,'' Woods wrote. ''It...

Tiger to play in Greenbrier Classic

Tiger Woods is heading to the hills this summer to play in The Greenbrier Classic. Tournament organizers announced Monday that Woods had committed to play July 5-8 in the event, which began only two years ago. It is played on The Old White TPC Course, where two years ago Stuart Appleby closed with a 59 to win. It will be the third time in the last nine months that Woods plays a...

Matt Kuchar wins 2012 Players Championship

Matt Kuchar won the 2012 Players Championship with a final round of 70 and finished 13-under for the tournament. Kuchar was confident and consistent throughout the tournament at the TPC at Sawgrass golf course.  This is his fourth career win and the first in two years. Kevin Na who led the tournament going into the final round struggled on Sunday shooting a 76 to end up seventh...

Tiger Woods may not be back, but he is still the most powerful

Tiger Woods has won one tournament the last 3 years, lost endorsements because of his numerous affairs, and gave away millions upon millions of dollars to his former wife, but that hasn’t caused him to lose his spot as the most powerful athlete, according to Forbes. In fact, Tiger Woods is 12th among all celebrities [...]

Report: Elin splits from boyfriend

Tiger Woods' scorned ex-wife Elin Nordegren is back on the market after splitting from businessman Jamie Dingman, People magazine reported Wednesday. Despite reports to the contrary, including one that placed the pair at a New York Rangers game last week, a friend told the magazine that Nordegren was not ready for a serious relationship with Dingman, the son of billionaire Michael...

LeBron, Tiger Woods Place High On Depressing Forbes Celebrity Power List

Forbes magazine today released their annual The World’s Most Powerful Celebrities, a top 100 list that ranks stars based on press coverage, social media buzz and whose agents paid Forbes the most money to put them on a list. At the top of this year’s 100: Jennifer Lopez, who was settling nicely into obscurity as that lady on Eric Cartman’s hand in an old episode of ‘South...

Twins Fan Marrying Phil McCracken & Coco Playing Xbox Kinect!

• That **** Kim Kardashian & Kanye at Lakers gm • LOL! Osi Umenyiora’s Mother’s Day message • Twins fan is marrying a Phil McCracken – seriously • Golfer KO’s volunteer with this tee shot • **** Bomb: Kevin Na w/3-wood off cart path! • MUST-SEE: Coco playing Xbox Kinect in this • Victoria Silvstedt in white bikini on a boat • Christina Hendricks dropping...
Golf News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.