Golf star Bryson DeChambeau has turned himself into one of the most unpopular blokes in world sport as fellow pros laid into him for his incredibly slow play.
Golf may not be a thrill-a-minute sport but DeChambeau has crossed the line when it comes to planning his next shot. The notoriously slow world No. 8 came in for a beating on social media as his tortoise-paced approach at the Northern Trust event in New Jersey proved impossible to stomach.
A couple of videos showing DeChambeau taking his sweet time to strike some straightforward shots in the second round at Liberty National Golf Club spread across the internet on the weekend as he became a target for some stinging criticism.
On the par-4 16th, DeChambeau found himself 70m from the pin and reportedly took more than three minutes to connect with his club.
On another occasion while putting for birdie on the eighth green, he took more than two minutes as he studied the ball from every conceivable angle. To make matters worse, the American went on to miss the putt from less than three metres out.
anyone need a nap?
here’s DeChambeau pacing off a 70-yard shot which took over 3 minutes to hit (couldn’t post the entire video it took so long) pic.twitter.com/7A3Azeftyu
We can… pic.twitter.com/TOnRS4BXds
The viral videos gave critics of slow play plenty of ammunition to work with.
England cricket legend Kevin Pietersen tweeted for DeChambeau to “stop ruining a great game” while golf stars Ian Poulter, Justin Thomas and Graham DeLaet were among many to hit out at the 25-year-old.
Andrew I’m sorry you’ve stopped watching the @PGATOUR. There are a few players that continually disrespect their fellow pro’s and continue to break the rules without a conscience. It should be self policed but clearly this won’t happen.. so disappointing it hasn’t been stopped. https://t.co/yxfF2fFZ2D
It was hard to! ⏰
No kidding. That is not okay @b_dechambeau. What in good hell was that?
Danish pro Thomas Bjorn tweeted: “How is this ok??? Snoozeville. Why is nobody doing anything? @PGATOUR. Consideration for his playing partners is absolutely 0.”
Ross Fisher wrote: “All the governing bodies need to come together and find a solution. It ruins the game for players, fans that watch live plus at home on TV. Something needs to be done and done now.”
English star Eddie Pepperell was also critical, calling DeChambeau a “twit” and slamming his lack of consideration for his playing partners.
“Just look at Tommy and Justin, both looking completely bored,” Pepperell said on Twitter. “Slow players do this to their playing partners making the game less enjoyable. Problem is, the unaffected single minded twit in this instance, doesn’t care much for others.
“When it’s as egregious as Bryson was last night, and if they’re already behind, then shot penalties should be handed out. Fines don’t mean anything to these guys. You’d only need to hand out a few penalties and things would improve quickly!”
Paul Lawrie, who won the British Open in 1999, added: “Can’t believe there are people who defend this guy’s pace of play and how many examples will it take for him to get penalty shots!! Total joke and feel sorry for his playing partners.”
The official rule of the PGA is players have 40 seconds to play their shot or 50 if they are the first in their group to hit. Clearly that rule doesn’t apply to DeChambeau.
After the opening round Thomas, who was in DeChambeau’s group along with Tommy Fleetwood, called on slow players to lift their game.
“It’s definitely not getting any better. It’s very, very hard,” Thomas said. “It’s hard to make it better but fair. Everybody knows who the slow players are.
“But if you put the whole group on the clock and then a fast player gets docked, and they get penalised, it’s tough. But the slow players know who they are, and they need to play faster.”
Earlier this week world No. 1 Brooks Koepka blasted players who opt for go-slow tactics.
“I think it’s just gotten out of hand,” Koepka said. “It seems now that there are so many sports psychologists and everybody telling everybody that they can’t hit it until they’re ready, that you have to fully process everything.
“I mean, I take 15 seconds and go, and I’ve done all right. So I don’t understand why they’re taking a minute-and-a-half.”
Ironically, both Koepka and DeChambeau are tied in equal 37th at the Northern Trust. They sit 5-under after three rounds while Dustin Johnson and Brandt Snedeker share the lead at 12-under.
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