Rory in a Hurry to Speed Things Up
NOT only did Rory McIlroy make headlines on the course at TPC Sawgrass, but he also took the opportunity to have his say on slow play, which he says has now become an epidemic on the PGA Tour. He hit out at his fellow players after his second round in the Players Championship took more than five hours to complete. McIlroy is one of the fastest players in the game and the funereal pace of play is clearly starting to wind him up.
Somehow, the entire field was able to get the second round finished before darkness, but the same can't be said for the first round. Incredibly, play was suspended on Thursday due to darkness with just one player left on the course, Anirban Lahiri, who had to return in the morning to finish off a three-footer for par at the 18th hole.
When asked why rounds were taking so long, McIlroy replied: "Because they don't do anything about it. It’s become somewhat of an epidemic on tour. Look, it's our livelihoods, and people are going to take their time, and as the course dries up and gets firmer and gets tougher, guys are going to take their time, but the fact that someone didn't finish yesterday, just being through daylight savings and the tee times and someone had to come out today because there wasn't enough light to finish, I mean, that's unacceptable. What time is it right now, 7.35pm? Yeah, so, this is five hours, 40 [minutes] after our tee time. I get that it can take five hours to play out there, but it shouldn't take any over that.”
McIlroy is not the first marquee player to take his fellow competitors to task. In late January, Brooks Koepka lost his rag after a video of Bryson DeChambeau's deliberate pre-shot routine at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic drew criticism on social media. Just a few weeks later, J.B. Holmes found himself in the firing line (and not for the first time) for his pace of play at the Genesis Open, which became the story of the event rather than his play. And it is becoming increasingly clear that there is a will among the players to tackle the problem. Adam Scott says he would take a slow-play penalty if that is what is required to resolve the issue.
McIlroy agrees. "Honestly, I think they should just being a little tougher and start penalising shots earlier, and that would be an easy way to fix it.”
Is anybody listening?
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