Maria Fassi is the latest to fall victim to a slow play penalty, slapped with two shots for exceeding time at her 9th hole of the second round at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

Given that she missed the cut by a shot, it’s fair to say the penalty was a costly one and the 23-year-old was understandably upset with how things played out.

But her reaction was a not uncommon one and gives a clue about why professional golf continues to take so long (and why greens at most clubs have so many unrepaired pitch marks. But more on that later).

"Perhaps on reflection Fassi will come to see what happened differently and take more responsibility for her role in the drama." - Rod Morri.

Like most, Fassi believes it is not her that is slow but others. This is not a criticism of the Mexican, it is true of all golfers.

It’s a phenomenon known as ‘illusory superiority’ and it shows up in many areas of life.

One of the best known examples relates to driving ability. Up to 80 percent of people will tick ‘above average’ when asked to nominate their driving ability. (Clearly, this is a mathematical impossibility.)

No doubt all of those 80 percent, upon having an accident that was entirely their own fault, would suggest the mis-step is an outlier.

Which is precisely the position Fassi – like most of us – adopted this past week.

"I think – and every other LPGA player will tell you – we know who the slow ones are,” she said after Friday’s round.

“Everybody knows it. The rules officials know it. And I'm not one of them."

But Fassi also readily admitted – despite declaring herself ‘not a slow player’ – she had committed the time breach.

"So I did take more time on the second shot,” she said, “but I told the rules official that there has to be some common sense that I don't think existed on this occasion."

Essentially, Fassi thinks that she’s not a slow player. Except when she is. And when she is, it’s for a justifiable reason and should be excused under some mythical ‘common sense’ clause.

Again, this is not a criticism of Fassi because she is displaying behaviours I suspect almost all of us indulge in sometimes.

In this instance she faced a difficult decision (a fluky wind making club selection awkward with water in play) at an important moment in a big championship.

Having endured a difficult year following knee surgery and only playing the year’s third major after receiving a special exemption, it’s easy to see Fassi would have been feeling the pressure.

But despite what she – and most of us in the same situation – felt created extenuating circumstances, the only truth is she exceeded the time allowed and was penalised for it.

Perhaps on reflection Fassi will come to see what happened differently and take more responsibility for her role in the drama.

No matter her ultimate feeling, however, the incident presents a good opportunity for all of us who play to give some thought to the way we approach all aspects of the game.

Do we fix pitch marks? Repair divots? Play slowly sometimes? Have a bad attitude on the course that could impact others?

None of us are alone in thinking all these problems belong to others.

But if we’re honest with ourselves, deep down we also know that we are sometimes the problem, too.