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Colin Montgomerie is adamant heavy fines are not the solution to fix golf’s perennial problem with slow play.

Speaking to Forbes, Montgomerie insisted that the introduction of stringent shot penalties is the only way forward to speed up the pace of play at the highest level.

The abiding issue of slow play is at the forefront of the public consciousness once more following distinctly ponderous final rounds in last month’s Masters and RBC Heritage.

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Patrick Cantlay has been in the firing line for his glacial approach, while Matt Fitpatrick blasted slow play as a “disgrace” after his victory at Hilton Head.

Montgomerie recently teased eight-time PGA Tour winner Cantlay and his long-time rival Bernard Langer by posting an Instagram selfie with a tortoise captioned: “Found a quicker partner for Langer and Cantlay.”

The 2010 Ryder Cup captain clearly takes umbrage with slow play, with five-hour plus rounds frustratingly now commonplace on the PGA Tour.

“We need a deterrent and a deterrent is not money because these guys are earning what they are right now so what we have to do is a shot penalty and we have to start at the top,” he said.

“If one of the top players is given a shot penalty for slow play, my God that’ll trigger things.

“A shot penalty has to be the order of the day and if it happens again it doubles up—so it’s two shots, then four shots, then eight shots.

“Slow play is a real bugbear of mine. It does my blooming head in, it really does because I’m quite quick and you can only go as quick as the slowest player. It is inconsiderate, unjust and a shot penalty is the only way to go.”

Montgomerie is unlikely to see change enacted anytime soon on the PGA Tour, however.

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Commissioner Jay Monahan recently responded to the slow play criticism by claiming that the prospect of rounds finishing earlier would actually damage the circuit’s product in terms of advertising and broadcast revenue.

“We’re in the entertainment business,” Monahan told SiriumXM PGA Tour radio – as reported by GOLF.com. “We’re on television. Look at the number of times that we’re finishing on time, if not early.

“That’s a frustration of mine because we don’t want people turning off CBS or NBC before the competition, before six o’clock.”


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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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