Penalized for slow play, he misses the victory

Warned as early as the 14th hole for slow play, James was penalized on the 17th after conceding a double bogey on the 13th following an out-of-bounds tee shot

by Andrea Gussoni
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Penalized for slow play, he misses the victory
© Getty Images Sport - Warren Little / Staff

In the midst of potentially winning the Division I NCAA Men's Championship, Benjamin James, the world's fifth-ranked amateur, will long lament the penalty he incurred for slow play during the first round last Friday. The American from Virginia ultimately finished tied for second this Monday, just one...

shot behind the winner, Hiroshi Tai. It cannot be emphasized enough. Slow play is a genuine scourge in the world of professional golf. But it's also the case in high-level amateur golf. American Benjamin James (Virginia) experienced this firsthand during the prestigious NCAA Division I Men's Individual Championship held in Carlsbad, California, from May 24th to 27th.

Slow play, results

Penalized for slow play on Friday during the first round, 20-year-old James, who was on track to win during the final round played this Monday, ultimately carded a final round of 73 (+1) and finished one shot behind the winner representing Georgia Tech, Hiroshi Tai.

Without this penalty point, he would have found himself in a playoff. Instead, he settled for second place at -2 (286) alongside five other runners-up, including Gordon Sargent (Vanderbilt), a former world number one amateur and 39th at the 2023 US Open at the Los Angeles Country Club won by Wyndham Clark.

Warned as early as the 14th hole for slow play, James was penalized on the 17th after conceding a double bogey on the 13th following an out-of-bounds tee shot. "A lot of unfortunate events happened during that round," the golfer pointed out to Golf Digest afterward.

"At no point was I trying to slow down play. I was simply trying to play my best golf. It's the rules, I agree, but it's frustrating. The line is so fine..." The rules of golf are relatively complicated compared to other sports because they are applied outdoors, close to nature and animals.

Respect for the rules is a basic element in the game of golf, which, almost always based on the self-control and free conscience of the players, often sees distorted results, consciously at times, but often unconsciously or through carelessness, due to non-compliance on the part of many players of the game rules.

In addition to rules, golf adheres to a code of conduct, known as etiquette, which generally means playing the round with due respect for the golf course and other players. Etiquette is an essential component of this sport.

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