In today's final round of the Australian Open the first pair off the
tee this morning mutually agreed to 'fly' the course!
Tony Carolan of Queensland, and Ryan Palmer of USA agreed to play as
fast as they could in order to catch early flights home. They warned
the starter that they were going to 'fly'! They were not really into
the serious money anyway, only earning about AUD$3000 for their weeks
The 'normal' schedule for a 'pair' in this final round was 3Hrs 50
min....this particular 'pair' finished their round a full hour ahead
As 'rules officials' with each group it is part of our duties to
monitor 'pace of play', comparing 'pin-in-the-hole' times at each hole
with a fixed schedule of elapsed time at each hole throughout the
round. As leading pair they only had to keep ahead of this schedule to
remain 'in position' on the course. Normally we would be reporting
each group (by radio) that they were (say) '+ 2mins' over time....and
the usual rounds end up being anything upto +45 minutes by the end of
the day. The following groups had to be within their schedule *AND*
basically be within sight of the group ahead or they would be reported
'out-of-position'...Committee 'rovers' would then make judgement calls
as to whether any group needed to placed 'on the clock' at any
particular hole or holes to determine if there was any individual, who
by his mode of play was causing the delays (who would then be come
subject to penalties - both 'strokes' and cash penalties!).
The pair that I was with was 'out of position' for six holes in a row
before the 'rovers' asked me to have a word with the players and ask
them to catch up to their 'times'....they were +4 minutes at that
time. They caught up within one par 3 hole!!!
You can imagine our amu***t at the radio calls of the 'official'
with the leading group, whose messages were becoming increasingly
breathless!! He was calling in that his group was acclelerating
alarmingly..and he was concerned that they would arrive at the 18th
when no-one was 'ready'! I was with group #4, only 27 minutes behind
them at tee-off, but they called in starting the '18th' when were
still playing the '11th' !!
So........pros *can* play quickly if it suits them!!