The heated dispute concerning slow play over the weekend at The Northern Trust spilled over into Monday in what has been arguably the fiercest and most bitter debate on the subject that the sport has yet seen.
In case you missed it, on Friday at Liberty National, Bryson DeChambeau was caught on camera taking over three minutes to pace out and play a seemingly straight forward approach shot, and then taking over two minutes to hit a putt from inside 10-feet on the eight green – two incidents which sparked the furore which was to follow.
Embedded below is footage of DeChambeau on the eight green on Friday.
View this post on Instagram
I recently wrote a blog post (link in bio) about my experience at the #scottishopen and how surprised I was at the length of time some players (one in particular) took to play shots. It’s a funny old debate this. I get that these guys are playing for millions of £/€/$ and it’s their job but sometimes it just seems absolutely ridiculous the length of some pros take to play shots. The problem is, we usually only see the footage when the player is about to putt (on tele) and not so much of the time spent reading the green/chatting with caddies (thankfully), so they’re often taking far longer than we actually think or see. Annoyingly, I regularly see club members taking this length of time over shots (well, maybe not quite as long as @brysondechambeau, but still too long) and it’s most likely because they’re seeing the pros doing it and think it’s okay. Great to see some of his peers calling him out about this, even if he didn’t appreciate it. Can always rely on good old #eddiepepperell to speak his mind. #legend
Both incidents went viral, with DeChambeau taking well over the 40 second time limit which the PGA Tour is said to allow players for each shot, and adding fuel to the fire, fellow professional Eddie Pepperrel took to social media to describe DeChambeau as a “single-minded twit.” A comment which the Englishman apologized for on Monday.
Pepperell wasn’t the only player to comment publicly on DeChambeau’s deliberate play, with fellow Brit, Tommy Fleetwood stating that “If we were on the clock he wouldn’t have taken that amount of time”, while Justin Thomas simply described DeChambeau as “a slow player”.
Following his round on Friday, and fully aware of the controversy brewing, DeChambeau launched an impassioned defense of the length of time he takes over shots on the course, bringing up the subject before a member of the press even had the chance to ask the 25-year-old a question.
Arguing that he strides quickly to his ball and as he usually outdrives his opponents, he can’t set up his shot until it is his turn, DeChambeau took aim at his critics, stating
“When people start talking to me about slow play and how I’m killing the game, I’m doing this and that to that game… that is complete and utter you-know what. That’s not fair.”
DeChambeau argued that although sometimes he takes over the allotted 40 seconds, those occasions are few and far between, before continuing his self-defence saying
“If it’s not an easy shot, I’m going to take a little bit longer because that’s my job. I’m trying to do my absolute best. I’m trying to provide entertainment, and I hope that people can realise that it takes more than just me playing a shot in 30 seconds or 40 seconds for us to call it slow play.”
When asked whether any player has confronted him to air any grievances they might have, DeChambeau explained that no player had ever approached him to discuss his pace of play, and urged his critics to “say it to my face” if they have a problem.
If you thought that might be the end of the matter, then you were sorely mistaken.
Over the weekend at Liberty National, DeChambeau approached Brooks Koepka’s caddie, and was then seen in deep conversation with the four-time major champion on the range.
Following that conversation, which DeChambeau described as “awesome” and “fantastic”, Koepka was quick to tell members of the press at Liberty National that the 25-year-old isn’t the only culprit and that DeChambeau feels that he is being unfairly singled out.
“It’s not just him. I know he feels singled out, especially when I’m speaking about it. But it’s like I told him, it’s not — I’ve mentioned his name once, and that’s it. There’s so many guys out here where it’s become an issue, and obviously him being probably the best player that’s relatively slow right now, he’s going to be on TV a lot more, so you’re going to catch a lot more of those type of instances. I mentioned his (DeChambeau’s) name once. So I don’t think I’ve come at him. I just talked about slow play, and obviously he feels I’m talking about him every time.”
During the chaos in New Jersey, there was also criticism of the PGA Tour for not taking a harder stance on slow play in the game, with Sky Sports’ Rich Beem being one of those to slam the authorities, saying that he was “outraged” that the Tour tolerate the pace of play displayed by DeChambeau at the weekend.
The controversy at The Northern Trust seems to have awoken the PGA Tour from their slumber on the subject of slow play in the game, with the Tour releasing a lengthy statement on Sunday which mentioned that the organization would be reviewing it’s current pace-of-play policy.
“The TOUR’s current pace-of-play policy only addresses players whose groups have fallen out of position. 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.”
As the bitter dispute began to defuse on Monday following Pepperell’s apology on social media, DeChambeau then took to his own social media account to issue an apology of his own, where he vowed to improve his pace of play in the future, putting an end to this particularly heated chapter on the sport’s current most controversial subject.
“Slow play affects the quality of the game for both players and our fans and I’ve always had the utmost respect for my playing partners, including JT and Tommy. I’m constantly trying to improve and I will do my very best to improve my pace. Golf is my passion and livelihood. It’s my responsibility to help improve the game to be more enjoyable for all. Pace of play has been an issue for golf at all levels for a long time, and I’m committed to being a part of the solution, not the problem. I want to be a good representative of the game and the @PGATour and I looking forward to working with the TOUR and fellow players to find a solution to slow play.”
View this post on Instagram
Slow play affects the quality of the game for both players and our fans and I’ve always had the utmost respect for my playing partners, including JT and Tommy. I’m constantly trying to improve and I will do my very best to improve my pace. Golf is my passion and livelihood. It’s my responsibility to help improve the game to be more enjoyable for all. Pace of play has been an issue for golf at all levels for a long time, and I'm committed to being a part of the solution, not the problem. I want to be a good representative of the game and the @PGATour and I looking forward to working with the TOUR and fellow players to find a solution to slow play.
Tony Romo back in Korn Ferry Tour action this week
Football QB turned analyst Tony Romo is once again trying his hand on the Korn Ferry Tour at this week’s Veritex Bank Championship.
Romo last start on the Korn Ferry Tour came last July, where he withdrew with a wrist injury, and the 41-year-old, who has four starts on the PGA Tour, is still looking for his first professional sub-70 round.
This week’s event takes place at Texas Rangers Golf Club in Arlington, Texas, where all 18 holes are baseball themed and will feature 21 of the top 25 players from the Korn Ferry Tour points standings, with a total prize purse of $600k grabs.
Last week, 2021 Masters runner-up Will Zalatoris appeared on the Pardon My Take podcast, where he opened up on his friendship with Romo, the former QB’s game, and his obsession with golf, saying he “eats, reads golf”.
— Pardon My Take (@PardonMyTake) April 16, 2021
Golf course row leads to shooting and suicide in Las Vegas
One man has been hospitalized for a gunshot wound, and another pronounced dead after he took his own life following an argument on a golf course, according to multiple sources.
The incident took place on Sunday evening when Henderson Police and Fire departments responded to calls near Ping Drive and Ram Crossing Way, which is just a few minutes from the Las Vegas Strip.
— Las Vegas Review-Journal (@reviewjournal) April 19, 2021
Per police, a 52-year-old shooting victim is expected to make a full recovery, having been brought to a hospital, while a 50-year-old man suspected of shooting him was later found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Investigators have revealed that the two men involved had been in a heated exchange at a golf course, but no further details were revealed.
Michelle Wie’s LPGA hoodie is the must-have golf item of 2021
Michelle Wie recently returned to the LPGA Tour, and her new limited-edition #HoodieForGolf has had an enormous impact with several golf fans as well as professional athletes all making sure they get one.
Michelle Wie designed the tie-dye cotton candy hoodie to promote women’s golf, and recently took to Instagram to say:
“We wanted to create this hoodie to help elevate the visibility of women’s sports and women’s golf. More importantly, this is an opportunity to raise money for two charities that are working to change the face of golf and increase participation and representation of girls of color. Thanks for joining me in wearing and sharing this hoodie and helping to change the face of golf.”
View this post on Instagram
Golden State Warriors players Damion Lee and Kent Bazemore have been spotted wearing the hoodie, and Justin Thomas and Ian Poulter have recently proudly shown off their LPGA Tour hoodie on their Instagram stories.
The hoodie has already sold out twice but, thankfully, it’s now fully restocked. If you want to get yours, go to LPGAProShop.com where you can purchase the cool hoodie for a price of $74.99.
Proceeds from the hoodie will benefit the LPGA Renee Powell Fund and the Clearview Legacy Foundation, named after Powell. Powell, 74, was the second black player to compete on the LPGA when she made her debut in 1967.
Best driver 2021: By club fitters for you!
Rickie Fowler makes dramatic iron change
Lee Westwood WITB 2021 (The Players)
Best fairway woods of 2021: By club fitters for you!
Justin Thomas’ winning WITB: 2021 Players Championship
Sergio Garcia WITB 2021 (The Players)
‘Shut it!’ – Paul Casey puts disrespectful spectator in his place
Lee Westwood won’t have ‘secret weapon’ caddie on the bag for 2021 Masters
Billy Horschel’s winning WITB: 2021 WGC-Dell Match Play
WGC Match Play Tour Truck Report: New putters for Kuchar, McIlroy, Poulter
Steve Stricker’s winning WITB: 2021 Chubb Classic
Driver: Callaway Epic Speed Triple Diamond (9 degrees @8.5) Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC Tour Spec 7.2 X (45 inches,...
Emiliano Grillo WITB 2021 (April)
Driver: Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero Triple Diamond (10.5 degrees @ 8.5, Tour Flat adapter) Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 6 X (45.75 inches,...
Stewart Cink’s winning WITB: 2021 RBC Heritage
Driver: Ping G425 Max (10.5 degrees, CG shifter neutral) Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD XC 6 TX (45.25 inches) 3-wood:...
Lydia Ko’s winning WITB: 2021 Lotte Championship
Lydia Ko what’s in the bag accurate as of the Lotte Championship. Driver: PXG 0811 X Proto (9 degrees) Shaft: Mitsubishi...
Whats in the Bag3 weeks ago
Jordan Spieth’s winning WITB 2021 Valero Texas Open
Opinion & Analysis2 weeks ago
The 23 players who can win the Masters
19th Hole2 weeks ago
Bryson leaves Vijay mesmerized in unmissable video from the Masters
Whats in the Bag2 weeks ago
Dustin Johnson WITB 2021 Masters
Whats in the Bag2 weeks ago
Patty Tavatanakit’s winning WITB: 2021 ANA Inspiration
Equipment3 weeks ago
Edel introduces moveable weight Swing Match wedges for 2021
19th Hole3 weeks ago
What did you do during lockdown? LPGA star provides the greatest answer ever
19th Hole3 weeks ago
Ian Poulter switches to long putter and claw grip…but all is not as it seems