Morgan Pressel CARLOS M. SAAVEDRA / SI
Azahara Munoz had a hollow victory in winning the Sybase Match Play Championship, a title that was set up when Morgan Pressel was penalized for slow play while in control of their semifinal match. Munoz was playing Morgan Pressel in the semi final, a match that Morgan was well in control of. The match had been placed on the clock because of the slow play, mostly attributed to Azahara Munoz. The pair were warned about slow play after nine holes and put on the clock after number eleven.
Morgan Pressel won the twelfth with a par to seemingly take a 3-up lead, then before she could tee off on number thirteen, tour official Doug Brecht informed her that she was being penalized for slow play. She had taken 2:09 to play her three shots, 39 seconds over the 30-second limit per shot. The penalty was loss of the previous hole, so instead of having a 3-up lead, she was now only one up.
Morgan Pressel was on the verge of tears several times in a post-match news conference after she beat Vicky Hurst 2 and 1 in the consolation match;
“It was tough timing because it was a really big, I think, turning point in the match, going from 2-up to 3-up, and then all of a sudden back to 1-up. You know, it was , I mean, it was really unfortunate. I think that slow play is one of our biggest problems on tour. You know, I think that what bothers me the most is that we were given sufficient warning and she really didn’t do anything to speed up and then I was penalized for it.”
The time penalty was the first for Morgan in seven years on the tour and it left a very bad taste in her mouth, knowing Munoz was the slower player.
Munoz knew she was slow and it was an unfair decision for the officials to make;
“I know I was slow and I really apologized for that and I told her, but I do feel both of us were slow and she was the only one getting penalized, and that was not fair and I know that. I would never make her lose a hole.”
What would be the chances of that happening on the mens Tour, just look at the Kevin Na incident, the PGA Tour has not handed out a slow play stroke penalty in more than a decade. The thirty second limit for a shot rule is a joke, some players and caddies take forever to make up their minds which club to use, or which way the wind is blowing.