Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Golf

Garrigus, Na warned for slow play at PGA Tour Valspar Championship

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PALM HARBOR — As if being in the final group isn't enough pressure, Kevin Na and Robert Garrigus were given a warning for slow play on the back nine in the third round of the Valspar Championship on Saturday. Na was warned on the 13th hole, Garrigus on the 14th.

"That's the first time in 17 years as a professional I've ever gotten a bad time on the golf course," said Garrigus, who shot 1-under 70 and was the leader at 8-under 205. "I started laughing. It doesn't really matter because it's not like I'm going to get another one."

The warnings came after the twosome fell more than a hole behind the group in front of them, Pat Perez and Justin Rose, on Innisbrook's Copperhead Course. Garrigus and Na were put on the clock by a PGA Tour official during their back-nine round. If they had been warned a second time, each would have gotten a one-shot penalty.

On the par-3 13th hole, officials ruled Na took too much time to hit his tee shot.

"I don't feel like I should be criticized for my play (Saturday)," said Na, who shot 68 and was in second, one shot back. "I'm the first to admit if I play slow, but I don't think I played slow (Saturday). The group in front of us had a lost ball on (No. 3). We waited on the tee forever. Then we had a ruling on the next hole. Yes, we were out of position, but that's not our fault."

Garrigus was warned on the 14th hole after he walked up to the green to get a measurement for his approach shot.

At the 2012 Players Championship, Na backed off several shots and was criticized for slow play. He said he has gotten much better and shouldn't be labeled as a slow player.

Former champs make a move: It was moving day for two former winners at the Innisbrook tournament.

Retief Goosen, who won in 2003 and '09, teed off in the second group and shot 7-under 64 before the last groups even got to the driving range. He was 4 under overall and four shots back.

Luke Donald, who won in 2012, finished three hours later with 4-under 67 and was 3 under overall. He started the day 1 over, birdied the first hole and ended with a bogey-free round to move up 27 places on the leaderboard.

He said he spent time on the driving range Friday fixing a swing flaw.

"I felt like I was missing it both ways," Donald said. "I was getting a little active in my legs. That's a problem that comes back a lot for me.

"(Saturday) was much better. I just simplified things. I picked targets, didn't look at the leader­board and played my own game. I kind of played a Luke Donald round."

Saturday cut: Because 86 players were in the Saturday field after Friday's cut, a second cut was used to get the field to 78 for today. Eight players didn't make the 5-over cut mark, including Boo Weekley (77, 9 over), Tim Herron (74, 6 over) and former Gator Brian Gay (75, 6 over). Officially, they made the cut but did not finish.

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