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No Slow Play Allowed At British Open -- Unless, Well, You Know

Organizers have issued a warning that they will not tolerate slow play at this week’s British Open. Saying that tortuously long rounds were “killing” the game of golf, especially at the amateur level, the head honcho of this week’s major championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes said Wednesday that players must finish play quickly or risk the wrath of the Royal & Ancients.

Threesomes going out on Thursday and Friday will have 4 1/2 hours to complete play, while weekend twosomes must complete their rounds in three hours and 45 minutes, Jim McArthur, chair of the R&A’s championship committee, told reporters.

“This year, we are making slow play a priority,” McArthur said. As Golf Digest’s John Huggan noted, however, McArthur also sprinkled terms such as “mitigating” and “circumstances” into his remarks.

"We give each group a time schedule for each hole, and we monitor that very stringently," McArthur averred. "And if a group is out of position with the game in front or over the time schedule, we initially start with words of encouragement to communicate with them and tell them that they are over the schedule or out of position. If they don't respond to that, we then put them on to the clock and deal with them that way."

Or, as George Costanza and Elaine Benes might so eloquently conclude -- blah blah blah, yada yada yada.