This week’s Byron Nelson Championship marks the 20-year anniversary of the last time a PGA Tour player was assessed a one-shot penalty for taking too much time.
That was former Clemson golfer Dillard Pruitt, now a rules official who carries a stopwatch.
That one stroke wound up costing Pruitt $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.
Slow play was a hot topic at last week’s Players Championship because of the snail-like pace of 54-hole leader Kevin Na, who was fighting a battle to pull the trigger on his shots.
In 2008, Tiger Woods has complained about slow play, saying, “It’s been an ongoing problem on the PGA Tour for a long time.”
When he finished The Players Championship on Sunday, Woods measured progress since 2008 with one word.
“Worse,” he said.
WHAT’S IN A NAME: Sunghoon Kang, who made an 8-foot birdie putt on the last hole of the last tournament to keep his PGA Tour card last year, quietly altered his name the last two weeks without much notice.
He now is Sung Kang.
What happened to the last part of his first name?
“It’s hard for you guys to say it,” he told a group of reporters at Sawgrass. “You guys didn’t even try to say it right, so I changed it for you guys.”
IMG CHANGES: About the only disruption for Luke Donald this year is off the course.
His agent, Jon Wagner, was among three employees who left IMG two weeks ago. Golfweek magazine reports this week that two of his clients, Trevor Immelman and Sean O’Hair, also have left IMG. Donald remains with IMG, as his contract does not expire until the end of 2013. His business affairs will be managed by Jon Heaton.
CVS CHARITY CLASSIC: Annika Sorenstam and Lorena Ochoa return to competition next month for the CVS Caremark Charity Classic, the two-day event hosted by Brad Faxon and Billy Andrade that has raised more than $15 million for New England charities.
DUSTIN RETURNS: Dustin Johnson will have missed nearly three months when he returns at the Memorial.
Johnson aggravated a back injury while lifting a jet ski from the water in early April, the weekend before the Masters Tournament,
He hasn’t played since Doral in early March.
He has slipped to No. 67 in the FedEx Cup standings, and No. 21 in the Ryder Cup standings.
“Obviously, I can’t wait to get back out and compete,” Johnson said in a statement.