Bryson DeChambeau criticised for slow play at Northern Trust

Bryson DeChambeau
Bryson DeChambeau took more than two minutes for a 70-yard shot on the 16th, and a similar time for an eight-foot putt on the eighth hole

Bryson DeChambeau has infuriated fellow professionals with his slow play at the Northern Trust event in New Jersey.

The defending champion, 25, took more than two minutes to hit a 70-yard chip, and a similar time to line up an eight-foot putt, which he went on to miss.

England's Eddie Pepperell said: "Slow players do this to their partners, making the game less enjoyable.

"Problem is, the unaffected single-minded twit in this instance doesn't care much for others."

Slow play has become a big issue in the sport and players including four-time major winner Brooks Koepka have been open in their criticism of players who take too long over shots.

On Wednesday before the Northern Trust began, Koepka said: "I think it's just got out of hand."

American DeChambeau sought to defend himself following Saturday's third round of the Northern Trust, telling reporters: "When people start talking to me about slow play and how I'm killing the game, I'm doing this and that to the game, that is complete and utter you-know-what."

The world number eight accepted he took more than his allotted 40 seconds to play on some occasions - which he estimated happened only 5% of the time - adding: "We are all trying to do our best to play well and make our livelihoods and win tournaments. When you start personally attacking people on Twitter, it's like, come on, dude. Speak to me to my face about that."

Criticism of DeChambeau, who is known for his ponderous style, began after video of his second round on Friday emerged on social media.

England's Ian Poulter, who is also playing at Liberty National, added to a thread on social media: "There are a few players that continually disrespect their fellow pros 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."

Rich Beem, the 2002 US PGA Championship winner, said: "This has got to stop. PGA Tour, if you don't do something about this, shame on you!

"As a member, I'm outraged you can tolerate this. You talk about 'protecting the field', then protect it by penalizing/disqualifying this type of behaviour. Enough!"

Pepperell, who is not playing the Northern Trust - the first of the PGA Tour's play-off events - added: "When it's as egregious as Bryson was [on Saturday], 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!"

Analysis

BBC golf correspondent Iain Carter

Bryson DeChambeau's protracted pre-shot routines fly in the face of pace-of-play recommendations enshrined in the rules of golf.

They state that a player should try to make their stroke in no more than 40 seconds from the time it becomes their turn to play.

It is clear the American is making no attempt to follow this guideline. Other professionals and fans are losing patience with DeChambeau's pedestrian methods.

Rightly, pressure is growing on the PGA Tour to take action and impose penalty strokes to punish slow play.

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