Players told to speed up at Open

Players told to speed up at Open

Published Jul. 18, 2012 1:00 a.m. ET

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.''