Jack Nicklaus questions penalty given Tianlang Guan in the Masters Tournament

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Jack Nicklaus is not so sure he agrees with the slow-play penalty given to 14-year-old Chinese phenom Tianlang Guan at the recent Masters Tournament.

Guan was given a one-stroke penalty for slow play during the second round at Augusta National, but still made the cut.

“He’s in the eighth grade! The eighth grade and he’s playing in the Masters!” Nicklaus said Wednesday in Columbus, Ohio, at a luncheon celebrating his support and that of his Memorial Tournament for Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “And he gets a penalty? Can you imagine giving a 14-year-old kid a penalty for slow play?”

He added, “There’s hundreds of guys who are much slower probably than (he was) and they figure out a way to get away with it.”

On Wednesday during pro-am day at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans — where Guan will be playing again this weekend — 2012 Masters champ Bubba Watson said perhaps more penalties need to be handed out for slow play on tour.

“I think that – not just the Masters – I think there’s times on the PGA Tour where it should have happened before. I think we should always give strokes (for slow play),” he said. “It’s an unfortunate situation because of who (Guan) it was. But again, he’s not a pro yet, but later in life, if he becomes a pro, he’s going to know the consequences. So he’s going to do better, and maybe some other juniors across the world figure that out, that we need to speed this up.”

Home at last: Angela Stanford gets to experience a first in her 13 seasons on the LPGA Tour. She gets to stay at home and sleep in her own bed during a tournament.

“It’s great to be home. I’m glad the LPGA is here. You know, I spend most of my time all year telling people how great it is here, so it’s nice to have the whole gang here,” said Stanford, who lives in nearby Fort Worth and went to school at Texas Christian. “It was a little odd getting off the airplane from Hawaii ... like the whole tour was following me.”

The inaugural North Texas LPGA Shootout starts today at Las Colinas Country Club. It is North Texas’ first-full field event in the area since the 1991 U.S. Women’s Open .

Men only: Just because the home of the Masters now has female members, the Royal & Ancient Golf Club in St. Andrews, Scotland, has no plans to pressure the all-male clubs in the British Open rotation to change its membership policies.

The British Open is being played this summer at Muirfield, which has no female members.

“There is nothing wrong under UK legislation with a single-sex club as long as they behave under the equality act as far as guest access is concerned, which Muirfield certainly does,” R&A chief executive Peter Dawson said this week. “And to think the R&A might say to a club like Muirfield, ‘You are not going to have The Open anymore unless you change your policy,’ is frankly a bullying position that we would never take.”


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