LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England -- Organizers say they are cracking down on slow play at the the Open Championship, calling the issue a scourge that is "killing" the game at amateur levels in particular.
Three-balls are under orders to complete their first two rounds in 4½ hours at Royal Lytham and St. Annes this week, with two-balls required to finish in 3 hours, 45 minutes.
Jim McArthur, chairman of the championship committee, says "we're putting slow play as priority." Although sanctioning players with a shot penalty is rare, he says "we would take whatever action is appropriate."
McArthur says Wednesday "it needs to be a concerted effort, not just the Royal and Ancient, not just the tours, but the golf unions and other golf organizations to come to a coordinated effort to improve the speed."