"Unfortunately, it affected my play a little bit"
By mustang6560 on 1/29/13
As oober joe jones noted in You-know-who leads by 6, the news out of Torrey Pines was less about Tiger Woods' 75th PGA Tour win and more about the dreadfully slow pace of play.
In the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open, Tiger was paired with Billy Horschel and Casey Wittenberg and it took them three hours and 45 minutes to play 11 holes. The group in front of them, which consisted of Erik Compton, Brad Fritsch, and Steve Marino, was playing so slow that they fell behind an entire hole of the group in front of them.
Following the round, Tiger admitted the slow pace affected his performance.
Well, the group ahead of us was a hole behind most of the entire back nine. I don't know if they were warned or not or they were timed. But we were just playing slow. We were just having to wait on every shot, so it got a little slow.The only silver lining for Tiger's group is they only had to play 11 holes. Had they needed to play a full 18 yesterday, then they were looking at a six-hour plus round of golf.
Pace of play is a real problem for the PGA Tour, despite the commissioners official position on the issue. As the most successful golf circuit in the world, the Tour can't tolerate a six-hour plus round of golf. What example does that set for amateur golfers?
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joe jones says:
I read one report that it was more like 4 1/2 hours for 11 holes. It's disgusting. Playing in a senior community our members finish in 4 hours most of the time. We have quite a few octogenarian players with physical problems that are understandingly on the slow side but we say "God bless them, They try to keep up" How can anyone condone slow play on the tour. When I was young and single digit my playing partner was a plus 2. We were first off, dawn patrol. When he was asked how he played he would say "shot 69 and finished in 3 hours". Time was just as important as score. Extreme yes but fast players know what I mean
The problem is television. If TV is following a given player who is slow they cutaway to another player's shot and then come back. As a tv viewer, we never get the full impact of how slow these guys truly are. I've been to several tournaments and followed slow players (Jim Furyk is one of them). It is painful to watch them. The only solution is to hand out penalty shots. Do it enough times and the Kevin Na(s) of the world will start speeding up
Torleif Sorenson says:
I agree - after all, officials dish out delay-of-game penalties in hockey and American football. Some minor baseball leagues have a timer, forcing pitchers to deliver the ball without dorking around.
Slow play is killing our game; Erik Compton in particular, yesterday. I'm grateful that this Norwegian-American survived three heart transplants to make it to the tour - but stewing over a putt for so long not only slows down the game, it will drive away TV viewers.
Penalties are the most effective way to cure the problem. The sooner, the better.
@mtgolfidiot has a good point about TV viewers never really experiencing the snail-like pace at which some of the PGA Tour members play. Golfers may seek to emulate the pre-shot routines and green-side activity exhibited by tour players without recognizing how slow this makes them. For the most part slow amateur golfers are unaware of their problem, which is what ultimately makes pace of play such an intractable issue.
4.5 hours for 11 holes is equivalent to 7 hour round! But they were only a hole and a half behind the group ahead, so best case it would have been 3.75 hours for 11 hours, which is still over 6 hours. I was home sick and it was painful to watch. On the other hand, it was good to see the pros suffer the way we do sometimes on the weekend muni.
There are many PGA Tour players in favor of penalty shots but it never seems like it gets implemented. If the PGA Tour wants to continue the rise in popularity it has had, slow play needs to be done away with.
What's the history on slow play for the PGA? Were Hogan, Snead, et al as slow as they are now? I'd expect Trevino, for example to be a fast player. Ditto Arnie. Just wonder if it's a modern prob, or just part of the pro game.
joe jones says:
There were slow players in past eras but they were given a bad time by their peers. Nicklaus was very deliberate , especially when he was putting but he made up for it by being prepared for every shot before he took his stance.The old rule about slow play was. A fast player can't stand playing with a slow player but a slow player couldn't care less so it doesn't bother him. When I play with a slow player I never stand by my shot with a club in my hand, It guarantees a bad shot. Even though I know what club and what shot I want to hit I sit in my cart until he is finished and then proceed with my routine. No delay just get up and hit it. One of two things will happen I will hit the shot I want or I won't. If I don't I go find it and hit it again without delay.
It was brutal to watch. It seemed like all three players were slow. If a player wants to stand frozen over the ball that's ok with me. What was disturbing was the apparent absence of ready golf and lack of urgency from any of the players in the group. Slow movement, slow walking, lollygagging between shots esp. Marino. Three pro golfers taking three hours to play nine is unnatural. How does it even happen? What is going on??? is what I'd like to know.
Kurt the Knife says:
Penalties. The only solution by I doubt PGA rulers have the balls to enforce.
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