We’re less than a month into 2019 and, already, the issue of slow play has reared its ugly head at the very top level of the game.
Bryson DeChambeau has been widely criticised on social media for the amount of time he took during the Dubai Desert Classic.
In a video posted on the European Tour’s Twitter account, the American – who won the title by a whopping seven shots – was seen taking well over a minute to hit a shot.
This is despite a recommendation in the new Rules of Golf, which came into effect on January 1, that players “take no longer than 40 seconds to make a stroke (and usually you should be able to play more quickly than that)”.
Here’s the clip:
The amount of time it takes DeChambeau to hit his shot has been widely condemned, with former Open champion Paul Lawrie particularly critical.
Takes him 1m 14secs to hit it and he was at ball before video starts. No penalty I assume https://t.co/nJAxRgPrrT— Paul Lawrie (@PaulLawriegolf) January 27, 2019
He takes that long on every shot https://t.co/mr6zbf4CwZ— Paul Lawrie (@PaulLawriegolf) January 27, 2019
Top caddie Craig Connelly was equally unimpressed by DeChambeau’s pace.
Aye... how you can make the game slower! https://t.co/8r9rDpul3a— Craig Connelly (@theweeman77) January 27, 2019
It even caught the attention of former Arsenal and England forward Ian Wright.
Interesting,but Jesus how long 😱— Ian Wright (@IanWright0) January 28, 2019
DeChambeau did have at least one person fighting his corner, however – English pro Chris Paisley.
Golf has a long history of inconsistency with enforcing slow plays rules – or ‘recommendations’ – but what particularly frustrated some people about the leniency shown to DeChambeau was the fact that it came on the same day as a controversial penalty for Haotong Li.
The Chinese golfer was harshly penalised for his caddie lining him up on the 72nd hole of the championship – a decision that has been almost universally condemned by Li’s fellow pros, commentators and fans alike.