DeChambeau, Koepka clear up slow play issue - All Access Sporting News



August 12, 2019

DeChambeau, Koepka clear up slow play issue

     Bryson DeChambeau wasted no time defending himself against accusations of slow play Saturday after harsh criticism on social media stemming from a video showing him taking more than two minutes to hit an 8-foot putt.

Among those who criticized him on Twitter was Eddie Pepperell of England, who is not at The Northern Trust because he's not a PGA Tour member. He referred to DeChambeau as ''the unaffected single minded twit'' who doesn't care much for others.

Rich Beem, a former PGA champion who works for British-based Sky Sports, said he was outraged as a PGA Tour member that protecting the field should include penalizing or disqualifying this kind of behavior.

DeChambeau said the putt in question Friday was difficult to judge because it looked different than what the greens book indicated, and his caddie called him off the putt at one point.

DeChambeau shot an even-par 71 on Saturday and was tied for 24th. After signing his card, he hopped onto a stage in front of the microphone and said loudly, ''Let's talk about slow play, guys.'' He then spoke for more than two minutes stating his case.

Some of it was a repeat from his complaints at the Memorial, where he received a bad time for taking too long over his second shot into the par-5 fifth. He said caddies play a role in the pace of play, and that the PGA Tour should change its policy to include how long it takes to walk to the next shot.

The tour policy allows for one minute for the first player hitting a particular shot - from the tee, the fairway, around the green - and 40 seconds for everyone else. Warning, bad times or even penalties are not issued unless the group is out of position.

DeChambeau believes he's being singled out because of his approach to the game, which includes contemplating air density, wind direction and other factors. He says he runs into a problem such as that 8-foot putt about 1 percent of the time.

He was playing with Justin Thomas and Tommy Fleetwood of England, who stood to the side of the green as DeChambeau looked at the putt from both sides, studied his greens book, backed off the putt and after more than two minutes, missed it, anyway.

Thomas, responding to a thread involving LPGA player Christina Kim and former British Open champion Paul Lawrie, added that it was ''hard to watch,'' using an emoji of a clock for the last word.

"I should have said something in person," Thomas said. "I like Bryson as a person, but he's a slow golfer."

Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau met face-to-face Sunday morning to discuss slow play.

"Yes, slow play should absolutely be penalized!"DeChambeau said during an interview a few minutes after Koepka’s, "I’m a huge advocate of it."

This Northern Trust may well be remembered as β€œThe Koepka-DeChambeau Summit,” more than for Patrick Reed winning the first event of the three-tournament FedEx Cup Playoffs. 



Ran DeBord - All Access Sporting News

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