news 6 days ago

PGA to review pace-of-play policy after criticism of Bryson DeChambeau

Sporting News — customerservice@sportingnews.com (Sporting News)

The PGA Tour will review its policy on the pace of play following criticism of Bryson DeChambeau at The Northern Trust, the tour confirmed.

DeChambeau was roundly criticized by fans and players alike for taking more than two minutes to play both a 70-yard pitch and a putt from inside 10 feet, which he missed.

Clips were shared on social media emphasizing the DeChambeau's slow play at Liberty National in New Jersey, with Ian Poulter, Rich Beem and Eddie Pepperell joining fans in denouncing his pace of play.

Justin Thomas — one of DeChambeau's playing partners on Friday — said after the round: "The slow people know who they are, and they just need to play faster."

The PGA Tour has now responded, too, confirming it will review their guidelines.

Its current pace-of-play policy only addresses players whose groups have fallen out of position, but the PGA Tour will now assess whether to expand the regulations to encompass players whose groups are in position. 

"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," said Tyler Dennis, the PGA Tour's chief of operations.

"We have leveraged our ShotLink technology to provide every player with a pace-of-play report that they can access which breaks down the varying parts of their game and gives feedback on the amount of time on average that the player takes to hit a particular shot.

"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."

When asked about his slow play, DeChambeau claimed it was others' fault, not his, adding he felt attacked by the responses on social media.

"A lot of it is the caddies. A lot of it is the other players," DeChambeau said. "They don't care about walking fast. I play a different way out there.

"I take my 40 seconds that's allotted, sometimes over, absolutely. Totally agree. It's maybe five percent of the time.

"But I'll tell you that it's really kind of unfortunate the way it's perceived because there's a lot of other guys that take a lot of time. They don't talk about this matter and for me, personally, it is an attack and it is something that is not me whatsoever."