Thanks to an apparent rise in the number of Tour pros who plumb-bob over three-footers, switch clubs multiple times for one shot, and stare into space while seeking a Zen-like state of pre-shot focus, slow play has received a lot of extra attention this year. (Golf Magazine took its own in-depth look here.) There's almost no one disputing that it's a growing problem that aggravates golfers, alienates TV viewers and hurts the game. Clearly, golf needs to address the issue. But can you imagine making a hole-in-one in competition, only to later lose it because of a slow-play penalty? It actually happened on Monday during the first round of the U.S. Junior Amateur, according to The Kitsap Sun newspaper in Bremerton, Wash.
When is a hole-in-one not a hole-in-one?Phil Mickelson's brother named ASU golf coach
Connor Klein of Long Tree, Colo., found out on Monday during the first round of the 64th U.S. Junior Amateur at Gold Mountain Golf Club.
Klein aced the 170-yard, par 3, No. 5 hole. But it went down as a birdie.
Klein's threesome, which included Alex Church of Timonium, Md., and Andrew Bonner of Ripon, Calif., was warned for slow play. The players were clocked again at the fifth hole and they were all docked a stroke.
The three players appealed to USGA officials. Klein turned out to be the only player penalized, so his score of one became a two.
"It's a birdie," said the USGA's David Staebler, director of the Junior Amateur tournament, shrugging his shoulders.
Staebler said it's the first time he's ever seen that happen in a tournament.
It was the only penalty of the day for slow play.
Klein birdied the next hole, but ended with an 82.
"There was that aura of watching Phil play there and knowing that ASU had such great facilities, tradition and all the stuff that goes into making a great program," Mickelson said when he transferred to Oregon State in 1998. "It kind of swept me away."Darren Clarke, This Is Your Life Via The Belfast Telegraph Tweet of the Day @Graeme_McDowell:
ASU still is sweeping Mickelson off his feet.
When the Sun Devils came to him about their opening for the men's golf-coach position, he couldn't say no even though it meant leaving his hometown and a program he considered "my little baby" at the University of San Diego. This time at ASU, his name figures to help in recruiting, fundraising and visibility.