The 19-year-old rookie fell foul of the LPGA Tour's slow-play policy at last week's Kia Classic

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LPGA Rookie Fined $10,000 For Slow Play

Yealimi Noh, a 19-year-old playing on the LPGA Tour, received a $10,000 fine at last week’s Kia Classic, according to Golfweek.

Having finished the event in a tie for 61st place, Noh was due to pocket $4,247 but instead lost money as she was ruled by an official to have lodged bad times on the 10th and 12th holes during Saturday’s third round.

As well as having a new caddie on the bag, the World No. 47 attributed the extra time taken to the struggles she was having with her game, especially on approach shots. So much so, in fact, that she forgot there was a rules official present.

However, ahead of this week’s ANA Inspiration, the American was pragmatic in her assessment of the situation, saying: “I can’t appeal because it’s obviously my fault.”

It isn’t the first time Noh has been penalised for this infringement. In January last year, playing in the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio, she also received a slow-play fine, along with some other fellow rookies.

“A couple rookies got fines. Like OK, it’s a heads-up for us rookies to catch up or whatever,” she said.

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However, it’s because of this that Noh was punished so severely this time around. Had she come into event without any prior transgressions, the fine served would’ve been half the amount.

While she’ll no doubt learn from the experience, the 19-year-old admitted it’s still a bitter pill to swallow.

“As much as I think it’s a good learning experience – obviously now I’m never going to do that again hopefully, which is good – it’s hard to get over,” Noh said.

“That’s a lot of money.”

Of course, slow play in golf is nothing new. In fact, it was also a major talking point in the men’s game last week as several matches at the WGC-Dell Matchplay took well over four hours to complete. This drew the ire of many fellow pros and pundits alike, who took to social media to voice their frustration.

Yet, no penalties were deemed necessary. Despite the regularity of offences, punishment like the kind Noh received is seldom issued. So, does golf have a slow-play problem? Or is it just an inherent trait of the sport it’s high time we accepted?

It’s anyone’s guess at this point.

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