For the second time in three major championships, a young Asian-born player with a bright future has been penalized for merely matching the slow pace all around them.
Japanese sensation Hideki Matsuyama was enjoying one of the best rounds of the day, but was among many groups that fell behind the pace of play prescribed by the R&A. His group, including partner Johnson Wagner, was put on the clock. As a result, the referee with the group began timing each of Matsuyama's shots.
After taking too long to play one shot, Matsuyama was formally warned of his pace, as is protocol under the Open Championship timing rules. On the par-5 17th hole, however, Matsuyama had another bad time and was penalized a shot for repeatedly falling off the pace.
The penalty gave Matsuyama a bogey 6 on the 17th hole, and he ended the round at 1-over 72 and 3 over par through three rounds. Depending on how the 21-year-old plays on Sunday, it may be the difference between automatically qualifying for the 2014 Open or contending for the Claret Jug.
Meanwhile, the final two groups of the day, including 36-hole leader Miguel Angel Jimenez, world No. 1 Tiger Woods and Lee Westwood have been placed on the clock.
Earlier in the year, 14-year-old Tianlang Guan was penalized for slow play during the second round of the Masters. The thought was that it would cost the reigning Asia-Pacific Amateur champion a spot in the weekend field, but he made the weekend field.