CHARLESTON, S.C. — On a day that featured six-hour rounds from multiple groups in the field, only one player was hit with a slow-play penalty by the USGA, and it was an amateur.
Andrea Lee, a junior at Stanford, was first given a warning late in her third round, one in which she was already struggling at five over. When she failed to speed up, the USGA assessed her a one-stroke penalty. Lee eventually carded an eight-over 79, dropping her into 66th place after starting the day just five shots off the lead.
The singling out of an amateur was an odd move, especially given that the final two groups of the third round each took three hours to play their opening nine holes. Of the six players in the last two threesomes, five were professionals, Duke’s Gina Kim being the only amateur among them. This is not the first time an amateur has been hit with a penalty in a major event. At the 2013 Masters, 14-year-old amateur Tianlang Guan was given the rare penalty in the second round. Fortunately, he still made the cut by one stroke.
Most recently, a slow-play penalty was given to Corey Pavin this past October in a Champions Tour event. Prior to that, the team of Miguel Angel Carballo and Brian Campbell were given the first slow-play penalty on the PGA Tour since 1995 at the 2017 Zurich Classic.
Social media did not react kindly to the USGA’s decision.
Earlier this week at the Memorial Tournament, Bryson DeChambeau was put on the clock twice in the opening round. No penalty was assessed after the two warnings.