Catlin receives rare slow-play sanction at PGA

Catlin receives rare slow-play sanction at PGA

3:47 PM ET

  • Bob HarigESPN Senior Writer

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    • Senior golf writer for ESPN.com
    • Covered golf for more than 20 years
    • Earned Evans Scholarship to attend Indiana University

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. — John Catlin was issued a rare slow-play penalty Thursday during the opening round of the PGA Championship, with the extra stroke resulting in a 3-over 75 at the Ocean Course.

Catlin, an American who plays on the European Tour and is making his major championship debut, first received a pace-of-play warning on the 16th hole (his seventh), where he took 74 seconds for his second shot.

When he used 63 seconds for his second shot at No. 3, he was in violation of Rule 5.6b (3) and was given a 1-stroke penalty.

The incident is the first slow-play penalty issued at a major championship since the 2013 Open Championship, when Hideki Matsuyama received one during the third round at Muirfield. The last time it occurred at the PGA Championship was in 2010, when Gregory Bourdy was penalized a stroke during the final round at Whistling Straits.

The rule deals with unreasonable delays and prompt pace of play and allows a committee to put in a local rule “to encourage and enforce prompt play.”

Catlin has won three times on the European Tour in the past year, including last month’s Austrian Open. He is ranked 80th in the world.