Sports / Golf

Tiger calls for penalty strokes for slow play

(Agencies) Updated: 2012-05-15 09:23

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida - Tiger Woods has called on the PGA Tour to punish slow play with penalty strokes rather than the current practice of handing out undisclosed fines.

The pace of rounds has become a growing issue on the tour and came to the fore at the Players Championship this week where Kevin Na's constant practice strokes and 'waggles' annoyed the crowd.

Former world number one Woods believes a shot penalty for a 'bad time' when a player is on the clock would be a far bigger deterrent than cash punishments which are believed to be around $5,000 to $10,000.

"Very simple. If you get a warning, you get a penalty. I think that would speed it up," Woods told reporters after carding a final round 73 to finish 12 strokes behind winner Matt Kuchar.

"Strokes is money. One shot can be the difference between first and second. How much is the difference between first and second? $800,000?

"I would take the five grand over the 800k. That one shot, that's the difference, that's what people don't realise, that one shot is so valuable," added the 14-times major winner.

Woods expressed some sympathy for Na who on Saturday owned up to his difficulty in being able to release his stroke due to a lack of balance, among other problems.

"I've never experienced anything like that but I've seen it before. I played with Sergio (Garcia) in 2002 and I think one of the holes, he re-gripped it 20-plus times.

"I haven't seen Kevin do it in person but sometimes it is tough pulling the trigger. Some guys have an easier time committing and going and other guys don't," he said.

Na had asked for patience when talking to media after Saturday's round where he shot a bogey-free 68.

"Trust me, I get ripped, a lot. I know television, twitterers and fans are tired of me backing off," he said.  

"I understand people being frustrated with me backing off, but all I can tell you guys is honestly, I'm trying, and it's hard for me, too," he said.

The concern over slow play goes well beyond Na and includes play on the minor tours and college golf tournaments in the United States.

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