You can read 9 more articles this month
THE PGA Tour has announced plans to review its current pace-of-play policy after golf’s slow-play debate turned personal.
Bryson DeChambeau came in for stinging criticism from fellow professionals during The Northern Trust after video emerged of him taking two minutes and 20 seconds — the limit is 40 seconds — to hit an eight-foot putt during the second round at Liberty National.
England’s Eddie Pepperell labelled the US star a “single-minded twit” while Ian Poulter implied that the world No 8 was one of the players who “continually disrespect their fellow pros and continue to break the rules without a conscience.”
It is not the first time DeChambeau’s slow play has been highlighted and world No 1 Brooks Koepka made no secret of his displeasure at the time taken by playing partner JB Holmes during the final round of the Open Championship at Royal Portrush.
Rory McIlroy said on Wednesday that slow players receive too many warnings before being penalised and, although PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has previously said he does not consider slow play to be a problem, the latest incident may finally prompt action.
“The Tour’s current pace-of-play policy only addresses players whose groups have fallen out of position,” the PGA Tour said in a statement. “The Tour is now exploring whether to expand its policy to also address players whose groups are in position, but who take an excessive amount of time to hit a shot.”
Tyler Dennis, the Tour’s chief of operations, added: “We are really focused at the moment on leveraging our ShotLink technology to assist us with these factors.
“This year, we have rolled out version 2.0 of an application which allows the officials to monitor every group in real-time, from their positions out on the course, and respond more quickly when a group is getting behind.
“We know that the individual habits of players when they are preparing to hit a shot can quickly become a focal point in today’s world, and our players and fans are very passionate about this issue.
“We are currently in the process of reviewing this aspect of pace of play and asking ourselves, ‘Is there a better way to do it?’ We think technology definitely plays a key role in all of this and we are thinking about new and innovative ways to use it to address these situations.”
Under current guidelines, a player’s group must be deemed to be out of position before being timed.
At that point an individual would receive a warning the first time he exceeded the allotted time limit [50 seconds if first to play, 40 seconds thereafter] and would only be penalised for a second such “bad time” in the same round.
Pepperall apologised for his “twit” comment in a tweet yesterday morning, saying: “Seems my comment regarding Bryson’s slow play has garnered plenty of attention and I just want to sincerely apologise to Bryson for being personal and referring to him as a ‘twit.’ That was unnecessary and something I shouldn’t have said.”
DeChambeau defended his actions and urged players to speak to him in person about the issue, rather than complain on social media.
Before his final round on Sunday, DeChambeau could be seen speaking with Koepka and former world No 1 Justin Thomas, who played with DeChambeau for the first two rounds.
“I like Bryson as a person, but he’s a slow golfer,” Thomas told reporters on Saturday.
“I hate saying this because I don’t want Bryson to think I’m throwing him under the bus or anything like that, but it’s just unfortunate where the pace of play is in the game at the moment.”
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.