• Elizabeth Mallett quit tournament in a slow play scandal
• Was docked a stroke and claimed she had been singled out
With the golfing world’s eyes fixed firmly on the drama of the 145th Open Championship at Royal Troon, drama of an altogether different kind has broken out at one of England Golf’s top amateur events.
One of the country’s leading female golfers, Elizabeth Mallett, quit while in contention for the English Women’s Amateur title at West Lancashire Golf Club after being docked a stroke for slow play.
The Wishaw Golf & Country Club player then launched a blistering attack on the governing body, sensationally claiming she had been singled out by rules officials when other players were reportedly much slower than her.
"I lost complete trust in the quality of the refereeing" - Elizabeth Mallett
After completing her round, Mallett was involved in a lengthy confrontation with the chief referee and tournament director over the penalty, which was for taking 65 seconds over an approach shot.
When told that there would be no grounds for appeal and after the chief referee reportedly told her to consult her coach about her pre-shot routine, Mallett, who spent four years at the University of North Carolina, decided to quit the tournament in protest.
“I lost complete trust in the quality of the refereeing in this event and was shocked by the seemingly biased decision making of the England Golf tournament director,” said an enraged Mallett, who was only one shot off the lead heading into the final round.
“Faced with the prospect of more of the same during the final round, I decided to stop playing in the tournament at a point when winning the event was well within my sights and capabilities.”
After being told of her penalty, Mallett proceeded to time the remaining groups. She reported that her group was nine minutes behind, while the following groups were 29 and then more than 30 minutes behind.
“To be the only player who was subject of a one-stroke penalty, when everyone in the final four groups also finished over their time, some two holes behind us, makes the penalty against me difficult to justify,“ she concluded.
bunkered.co.uk has contacted England Golf and is awaiting a reponse.
England Golf slow play scandal :: Your thoughts
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