Players under orders to speed up at British Open

Organizers say they are cracking down on slow play at the

British Open, calling the issue a scourge that is ”killing” the

game at amateur levels in particular.

Three-balls are under orders to complete their first two rounds

in 4 1/2 hours at Royal Lytham and St. Annes this week, with

two-balls required to finish in 3 hours 45 minutes.

Jim McArthur, chairman of the championship committee, says

”we’re putting slow play as priority.” Although sanctioning

players with a shot penalty is rare, he says ”we would take

whatever action is appropriate.”

McArthur says Wednesday ”it needs to be a concerted effort, not

just the Royal and Ancient, not just the tours, but the golf unions

and other golf organizations to come to a coordinated effort to

improve the speed.”