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Frustrated by the pace of play in the Solheim Cup today? You’re not alone.

Turns out both team captains were disappointed by it.

American skipper Juli Inkster described it “painfully slow”, whilst European captain Catriona Matthew laid out her hope that it will be quicker tomorrow.

The slow pace was particularly noticeable in the afternoon’s fourballs session where it took the opening group of Suzann Pettersen, Anne Van Dam, Danielle Kang and Lizette Salas two hours and 57 minutes to play nine holes.

Salas was singled out for a warning by the officials and, by the time the match came to an end on the 16th green, the players had been on the course for five hours and 11 minutes.

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Predictably, that dominated much of the discussion on social media throughout the afternoon and, sadly, somewhat lost in the melee was the fact that the match is delicately poised going into day two.

Europe holds a 4½-3½ lead going into the weekend, winning the foursomes 2½-1½ before the afternoon fourballs were tied up by a stunning American rally late in the bottom two matches.

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Even so, the golf itself was largely overshadowed by the speed of the players.

“It’s painfully slow out there,” said Inkster. “I know we had maybe a couple on our side that are maybe a little bit slower, but they have a few on their side, too, that are a little slow. So I don’t know, I don’t know what to do.”

The US captain added that it was likely the speed of play was a combination of factors: windier weather in the afternoon, firm greens, pressure and so on.

Still, she has no plans to speak to her players about it this evening.

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“That’s their routine. I think Lizette had a bad time. But that was the only player that had a bad time out there. She knows she probably has to speed it up a little bit. But I’m not going to say anything.”

Inkster hinted her frustration with Europeans manipulating the system so as to keep playing slowly without incurring penalties.

“The other players know how to play the game,” she added. “My players are playing at their pace. And then when they say we’re timing them, they speed up. They make a living out of that.
“So until we change the rule, they’re going to keep doing it. And they know who they are.”

Catriona Matthew Slow Play

Matthew largely echoed Inkster’s sentiments.

“Obviously, that back nine this afternoon did get pretty slow,” said the Scot. “I don’t really know what caused it. When you’re jumping around not following just one game it’s difficult to tell.

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“But some of the players on both sides do take quite a while to hit a shot but it’s up to the official really. They’re the ones who police the pace of play, so it’s really up to them.

“I think every week, the players are aware of the pace of play policies. No-one wants to see slow play. Obviously, with the bigger crowds, it’s more difficult sometimes but ideally it would be nice to be faster tomorrow.”


author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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