news 1 week ago

US PGA Tour evaluates pace of play after latest controversy

AFP

New York (AFP) -

The PGA Tour is reviewing its pace-of-play policy after an outburst of criticism of Bryson DeChambeau during the Northern Trust tournament.

In an article posted on the tour website, Tyler Dennis, the tour's chief of operations, said officials were considering expanding the policy to address individuals who take an excessive amount of time to hit a shot, even if their groups remain on schedule.

"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," Dennis said.

"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?'"

The issue was in the spotlight this weekend when video of DeChambeau taking more than two minutes to line up a putt sparked criticism on social media.

"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," Dennis said.

DeChambeau has defended himself, saying videos that showed him taking more than two minutes to make a chip and a similar eternity lining up an eight-foot putt on Friday were misleading, since his caddie had called him off one shot and on the other he was waiting for a group on a nearby tee to hit.

And Dennis noted that pace of play was a complex issue, affected by a range of factors that include the number of players on the course, tee time intervals, amount of daylight, course set-up and weather.

"Some of these are things we can influence, and some are not," Dennis said.

Under the current policy, players are timed only when their group falls out of position. One minute is allowed for the first player to hit a particular shot and 40 is seconds allowed for the others.

When told they are on the clock, players often speed up, making penalties for slow play rare.