Ex-Lobo Catlin: Slow-play ruling ‘cost me the (U.S.) Open’

John Catlin blasts out of the bunker on the 17th hole during the second round of the PGA Championship golf tournament on the Ocean Course Friday, May 21, 2021, in Kiawah Island, S.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Last month, John Catlin, a former University of New Mexico golfer, made his major debut at the PGA Championship.

This month, Catlin fell victim to just missing on his second major appearance after the Washington State Golf Association’s ruling of slow play that cost him a spot in next week’s U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.

Catlin’s three-player group was assessed three strokes as penalties for missing timing checkpoints at the U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying at Meadow Springs Country Club in Richland, Washington on Monday.

Put those three shots back on Catlin’s card and he’s the second of two qualifiers from Meadow Springs heading to the U.S. Open.

“That decision cost me the Open,” Catlin told Golf Digest.

What’s especially frustrating for Catlin is that a 15-minute wait for a ruling factored into the timing of the group missing the proper time for four checkpoints, Scotty Crouthamel, Senior Director of Rules & Competition for Championships at the Washington Golf Association, told Golf Digest. Missing the first checkpoint was waived “even though the time deducted from the ruling would have still resulted in a missed checkpoint,” Crouthamel said.

However, missing the three other timing checkpoints was not waived.

Catlin is no stranger to slow-play violations.

Catlin, who missed the cut at the PGA Championship, incurred a one-penalty stroke for slow play from PGA of America at Kiawah Island. That marked the first slow-play penalty assessed at a major since the 2013 British Open, when Hideki Matsumyama took one during the third round at Muirfield.

The last time a penalty for slow play occurred at the PGA Championship was in 2010, when Gregory Bourdy was penalized a stroke during the final round at Whistling Straits.

Catlin, 30, has had his name in golf news for better reasons recently. He won three European Tour events within the span of eight months, closing the run with his Austrian Golf Open victory at Diamond Country Club in Atzenbrugg near Vienna on April 18, when he won on the fifth playoff hole.

Catlin is ranked 85th in the world.

He has won every year since a breakthrough victory at an Asian Development Tour event in Indonesia in 2016. He had contemplated not competing in that event after losing his card on the Asian Tour and the Mackenzie Tour in Canada, according to an Associated Press story, but he didn’t give up.

He’ll press on after this latest slow-play penalty experience, too.

JUNIOR AMERICAS CUP: Four boys and four girls from the 13-18 age division qualified to represent the Sun Country at the Junior Americas Cup.

Quinn Yost of Farmington won the two-day event at New Mexico Tech Golf Course in Socorro May 29-30 with 4-under 140. The top three, plus the captain’s pick, move on to play at the Junior Americas Cup at Powder Horn Golf Club in Sheridan, Wyoming July 25-29.

Neil Parasher (+1) of Albuquerque Academy and Aiden Krafft (+2) of Cibola High were among the top three, and Peyton Jones (T5, +6) of Roswell was the captain’s pick.

The top four who are moving on to the Junior Girls Americas Cup at Banbury Golf Course in Eagle, Idaho July 18-22 are Jessica Osden (Los Alamos, +6), Harley Richardson (Lemitar, +9), Avery Sky (Rio Rancho, +11) and Rylee Salome (Los Lunas, +12).

JUNIOR GOLF CLINIC: The Lobo Junior Golf Camp, directed by UNM men’s head coach Glen Millican and assistant coach Gustavo Morantes, is scheduled for June 28-July 1 at UNM Championship Golf Course. The camp is for boys and girls ages 5-18.

There is a morning session (8 a.m. to noon) and afternoon session (1:30 to 5:30 p.m.). Registration is at lobogolfcamp.totalcamps.com for either the morning or afternoon session, or both for an all-day experience.

The campers will be grouped by ages and skill levels.

THE CITY: The dates for the 80th annual Albuquerque Men’s City Championship are set for Aug. 20-22. Registration opens Tuesday, online and at Ladera, Arroyo del Oso and Los Altos courses.

Ross Sinclair, then a UNM fifth-year senior, won last year’s city championship by one stroke.

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