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Say what you like about like LIV Golf – you can’t accuse it of not enforcing the rules of golf.

During the second round of this week’s event at Valderrama, the league imposed a one-shot penalty on England’s Richard Bland for slow play.

Here’s the full explanation from LIV officials:

“In round two, the group of Dean Burmester, Sergio Garcia and Richard Bland were officially warned by a rules official after their 4th hole of the day (hole 8) where the group was out of position on the golf course as well as behind in relation to time par.

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“After their 9th hole of the day, the group, who had further lost position on the course, was officially timed by a rules official.

“In accordance with the LIV Golf League Pace of Play, ‘A player has 40 seconds to play each stroke, with an additional 10 seconds if they are the first to play any stroke in the group.

“On the tee of the 15th hole, Richard Bland, who was first to play, received a time of 84 seconds for his first stroke. This exceeded the allotted time per the policy. Bland was immediately notified by an official and assessed a one-stroke penalty.”

That penalty turned Bland’s four on the par-3 15th into a double-bogey five.

This is the first instance of a player being hit with a shot-penalty for slow play in LIV Golf history.

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The last player to be so punished on the PGA Tour was John Catlin during the 2021 US PGA Championship. The US-based circuit has, for several years, been regularly criticised for not taking firmer action on slow play.

Bland subsequently signed for a two-over 73 to lie one-over for the tournament and ten strokes behind leader Bryson DeChambeau.

The penalty had an impact on Bland’s team Cleeks GC, too. They are currently bottom of the 12-team leaderboard with a combined score of 11-over.

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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