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Slowly making a case for change

Another week on the PGA Tour and another bit of surprises all around the globe.

If it wasn't a dustup between friends Morgan Pressel and Azahara Munoz on the LPGA Tour, it was Jason Dufner getting a third W in the past month (two on the PGA Tour, one at the altar). Never a dull moment in the world of golf.

Our experts analyze all that and more in our latest edition of Monday Four-Ball.


1. Thumbs up or thumbs down on the LPGA assessing Morgan Pressel a slow-play penalty in her Sybase Match Play Championship semifinal match?

Michael Collins, ESPN.com senior golf analyst: Both. Thumbs up for enforcing their rules even in the heat of a battle that did end up changing momentum and impacting the outcome of the match, but … thumbs down for the timing of it. A week after the Kevin Na slow-play issue on the PGA Tour? Making sure to assess the penalty in a high-visibility match? Stinks to high heaven of, "Look at us! We enforce our rules over here! Ooh, ooh, look at me!"

Sorry, but the real reason you did this was to get attention. Well, now you got it and nobody is talking about your golf. Happy?

Richard Durrett, ESPNDallas.com writer: I certainly don't like the idea of officials helping decide matches, but in this case, I think the LPGA did what it had to do. Pressel was given a slow play warning a few holes earlier and took too long to play the hole. It's a particularly harsh penalty in match play because she lost the hole and seemed to struggle after that. But if players don't start losing holes or strokes, the pace of play is just going to continue to be an issue. I'm sure other players will read about Pressel's situation and speed things up. That's a good thing.

Farrell Evans, ESPN.com senior golf writer: It wasn't the best timing, but the rules are the rules. When you're put on the clock, you have to speed things up.

Bob Harig, ESPN.com senior golf writer: Huge thumbs up. This is exactly the type of thing that needs to occur to cure the slow-play epidemic. It's tough to do this during a match play event, but the rules are clear on the LPGA Tour -- once you are put on the clock, you run the risk of penalty strokes if you exceed the time limit. It wasn't close for Pressel, and she paid a hefty price -- losing a hole she had won. You can bet others will heed the warning.


2. More surprising, Jason Dufner's second victory or Dicky Pride's contending for a PGA Tour title?

Michael Collins: Dicky Pride by far! Last year he played eight events, made four cuts and his best finish was a tie for 30th … and then didn't make it through PGA Tour Q-school. In 2010 it was five starts, two cuts made, and another Q-school miss. Hell, his own family didn't see this year coming. He is the definition of the blind squirrel finding a nut, except this year, Dicky found an almond tree!!

Richard Durrett: Dicky Pride is more surprising. He has three top-7s on tour this year, so it's not as if it was completely out of nowhere, but he hasn't won since 1994. Pride has battled injuries. He's got his career going again and has always been an entertaining interview in the media tent. Pride getting near the top of the leaderboard is more surprising than Dufner, who won in New Orleans and has made 11 straight cuts. The guy is hot right now.

Farrell Evans: Pride's been showing up on leaderboards of late and Dufner has been very consistent since last year's PGA Championship. The only thing I'm surprised about is that the 35-year-old Dufner didn't start winning on tour earlier in his career.

Bob Harig: Dicky Pride. Dufner has been contending in PGA Tour events for a long time, and Pride has not. He had been ranked 354th in the world. His lone PGA Tour victory came 18 years ago and he's not exactly been a top-10 machine. Although his runner-up finish in Dallas was his third top-10 of the year; he had that many combined in the previous five years.


3. Which top-10 finisher at the Nelson do you suspect will do well at Colonial?

Michael Collins: Of the 14 guys who finished tied for ninth or better, there's only two who aren't playing: Jason Day and Joe Durant. And the only reason Durant's not there is because he needed a sponsor's exemption to the event and didn't get one. But the guy who has been trending in the right direction (finally!) is Vijay Singh. The last time Singh had a top-10 on the PGA Tour was August 2011 at the Barclays, which for the Big Fijian is an eternity.

Richard Durrett: It's difficult to bet against Dufner doing well at Colonial. He's a shot-maker and he's playing well right now. Another name to watch: Ken Duke. He's got four top-10s this year and shot 66 on Sunday to vault into the top 10. Fort Worth's J.J. Henry should be a popular local pick, but for whatever reason, Henry hasn't done as well at Colonial as he has at the Nelson. In 10 Colonials, Henry has made the cut five times with a tie for 22nd in 2009 as his best finish.

Farrell Evans: Dicky Pride did everything he could to win on Sunday. At 42 and a moderate-length hitter, he's the kind of journeyman who can do well on the tight Colonial course.

Bob Harig: J.J. Henry. That was a tough way to end the Nelson for Henry, whose ace earlier in the round was undone by a 3-putt double-bogey at the 71st hole. Henry still salvaged a tie for third, but he'll be looking to continue a strong run at his hometown event in Fort Worth.


4. Which tournament will you be watching closer this week, The Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial on the PGA Tour or the BMW PGA Championship on the European Tour?

Michael Collins: This one is going be tight, but I'll say 51 percent Colonial and 49 percent BMW. The only two reasons Colonial gets my nod is because Rickie Fowler is back and Jason Dufner has a chance to go back-to-back. I don't even count The Players for him because he was still in "honeymoon" mode.

As for the BMW, the last time we saw Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy, and Lee Westwood tee it up together was The Players Championship, where only Donald made a little charge. Before that at the Masters, they all stunk. So maybe the third time's the charm? That's why I'm going to be watching!

Richard Durrett: I'll be watching Colonial. Then again, I'm biased. It's the second tournament in as many weeks in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The Ryder Cup captain will be there as will Nelson champion Jason Dufner and up-and-comer Rickie Fowler. It should be entertaining.

Farrell Evans: I'll be watching the Colonial to see if Jason Dufner can win his third event of the year.

Bob Harig: The BMW PGA. This is the European Tour's version of The Players Championship, the signature event played at tour headquarters outside of London. The top three players in the world as well as seven of the top 20 in the world are entered. The American contingent is light -- only five Americans are in the field, including a hot Ben Curtis -- but the tournament has a long history. So does Colonial, but the BMW is the better tournament this week.