Maria Fassi has blasted rules officials after she was hit with two-stroke penalty for slow play at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship – and ended up missing the cut by a shot.
Playing in the second round of the third women’s major of the year, Mexican ace Fassi had just birdied the par-18th – her ninth of the day – when she was informed that she had breached Rule 5.6 whilst being timed by a member of the Rules Committee.
The 23-year-old Mexican, playing in the tournament on a sponsor’s invite, took 50 seconds to play her second shot, 20 more than allowed. According to reports, she was in tears as she played the first, her tenth.
After carding a 77 to finish three-over, a furious Fassi hit out at what she called a ‘pretty frustrating’ decision.
“One of the players in our group was pretty slow,” she said. “I'm not going to be pointing fingers. I did go over time, and I guess that's the penalty. It's also common sense, in my opinion.
“I'm not a slow player. I went for it in two. It's not an easy decision. There's a lot going on. The wind was changing. I was in between clubs. It wasn't a stock number that was a no-brainer. So I did take more time on the second shot, but I told the rules official that there has to be some common sense that I don't think existed on this occasion.”
Fassi added that she tried to contest the decision before signing her scorecard.
“He just stayed in his idea. He was like, hey, you took 50 seconds on the second shot, which is 20 more than we're allowed to. He just kept saying that over and over again. So it was worthless honestly to keep arguing. The players in the group didn't say anything either.
“Every other LPGA player will tell you we know who the slow ones are. Everybody knows it, the rules officials know it, and I'm not one of them. I just don’t think I deserved it.
“I guess it's a lesson learned. It won't happen again, that's for sure.”