Four months ago, in a fund- raising venture, Nathan Kimsey careered around 18 holes of his home course at Woodhall Spa in 32 minutes and 34 seconds. Yesterday, during the final qualifying round of the Amateur Championship at Royal Troon, the English teenager was punished for slow play.
Kimsey was given a one-shot penalty for two bad times during his one-over-par 72, which became a 73 with the addition of the stroke as he went from the fast to the furious.
As it turned out, the former English boys' strokeplay champion comfortably progressed to the matchplay stages with a one-over aggregate of 143, behind the No.1 qualifier, Sweden's Daniel Jennevret but this was still a significant counter-offensive from the powers-that-be in the war against the slowcoaches.
At the start of the year, Peter Dawson, the chief executive of the Royal and Ancient, told Herald Sport that on the thorny issue of slow play "our championship committee has determined itself to do something about it and apply the policy more strictly". The St Andrews custodians have remained true to their word.
Following the high-profile penalties doled out to Morgan Pressel on the LPGA Tour and Ross Fisher on the European Tour recently, the R&A officials have now taken a firm stand at the top end of the amateur game, an arena notorious for the kind of excruciating progress usually associated with an arthritic slug.
"There were two bad times once his [Kimsey's] group was put on the clock," explained Grant Moir, the R&A's director of rules, who added that the last time he could remember a player being penalised by the ruling body was during the 2004 Open at Troon.
"The first was the 16th on his third shot, the second bad time was on the 18th tee. At Royal Troon yesterday, 13 games went on the clock and there were four bad times, the last sanction before being penalised a stroke. At Glasgow Gailes, there were four games on the clock and no bad times.
"We had a referees assessment meeting earlier in the year where it was confirmed that our existing pace of play policy would be applied as stringently as possible this season."
Kimsey, meanwhile, was rather put out by the whole affair. "It's left a sour taste in my mouth," he said. "On a tough day on a tough course, you're not going to be bang on with your time. We waited on the 11th tee for 10 minutes. I just thought they were being a bit pedantic."
While the Kimsey incident got the tongues wagging around the clubhouse, Jennevret let his clubs do the talking as he tamed the Open venue with a sparkling six-under 65, a new amateur record low, to surge to the top of qualifying rankings with a six-under 136.
The 22-year-old, a student at Texas Christian University in the US, is making his debut in the championship this week and had never played Royal Troon before but a composed, creative performance belied this lack of experience. Once he had holed a 40-footer for birdie on the third, Jennevret never looked back and that putt sparked a profitable burst of four successive birdies.
"Under the pressure of qualifying, that has to be one of my best-ever rounds," he said. "I hit 17 greens and putted very well and the way I executed the whole round was very pleasing."
Edinburgh's Paul Ferrier, the former Scottish boys' champion, and Perth's Danny Young led a largely dis-appointing home challenge on 142 and were among just six Scots, from an original tartan army of 29, to make the grade in a truly international list of 78 qualifiers that featured 25 different nationalities.
Daan Huizing, the Dutchman who was an emphatic winner of the Lytham Trophy and the St Andrews Links Trophy – by 11 and 14 shots respectively – found himself in the unaccustomed position of finishing seven shots off the top but he got the qualifying job done with a 71 at Glasgow Gailes to ease through on a 143. He was joined on that mark by Fife's James White and Barassie youngster Jack McDonald, the reigning British Universities champion.