While Justin Rose was returning to world No.1 with victory at the Turkish Airlines Open, another English pro was also centre of attention – but not necessarily for the right reasons.
Rookie Sam Horsfield was picked up on Sky Sports’ coverage over the weekend for taking an age with his pre-shot routine and, as is the case these days, videos of him standing over the ball started to circulate on social media.
Should be penalized. Again and again and again. 🚨 https://t.co/jWvYkD2nOx— Matt Ginella (@MattGinella) November 4, 2018
With slow play highlighted a big issue in the modern game, the replies to the tweet of the swing video drew lots of negative comments.
It also caught the attention of Eddie Pepperell, who played with Horsfield a few weeks ago in the British Masters at Walton Heath.
He had this to say, while fellow pro Jigger Thomson called some of the negative reaction Horsfield had received as ‘disgraceful’.
So I watched the coverage today and noticed this with Sam. What’s bizarre is, when I played with him few weeks back at Walton Heath I’m certain he wasn’t taking this long over the ball. I’m not sure what’s going on but if he’s having trouble then hope he gets it sorted 👍 https://t.co/0uL3xX9Lv3— Eddie Pepperell (@PepperellEddie) November 3, 2018
It’s disgraceful how negative all these comments are. He’s a class player with a great future. He isn’t taking longer than his allotted time and I’m sure he’s working on it and will figure it out.— Jigger (@jigger_thomson) November 4, 2018
I’m understanding initially because like I said in my tweet, a few weeks back he wasn’t doing this. That suggests something has changed. I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt in thinking it’s because he’s suffering from something, as opposed to trying to do it. https://t.co/5opmW82ePW— Eddie Pepperell (@PepperellEddie) November 4, 2018
Danny Willett played with Horsfield during the final round in Turkey and also defended his young compatriot, telling the 22-year-old to keep being himself and that sometimes things aren’t as easy as they seem.
Played with @hr59sam today, massive prospect for @EuropeanTour as a rookie, lovely guy and great player.. sometimes things aren’t as easy as they seem. And this game looks pretty easy for him.. keep on being you.. 👍🏻 https://t.co/0S9OGRCAXu— Danny Willett (@Danny_Willett) November 4, 2018
I agree Danny. Not sure if you’ve got wrong end of stick here (thinking I was being critical of him) . Good playing both of you 💪🏽— Eddie Pepperell (@PepperellEddie) November 4, 2018
Not at all Eddie, I knew you weren’t being critical and I was just trying to point out to people that we all have our different drills, routines etc on tour. 👍🏼— Danny Willett (@Danny_Willett) November 4, 2018
Nevertheless, after all the chatter, Horsfield himself clarified this is not is natural pre-shot routine and that he is going through some issues with his swing, which he is in the process of trying to figure out.
(1/2)So I’ve seen some tweets about me standing over the ball for a long time the last few days and I want to address it. This is not something I am not trying to do and its something I am working hard on to try and fix. I am doing what my team and I feel is necessary to fix the— Sam Horsfield (@hr59sam) November 4, 2018
problem. Thankfully I can still compete in big golf tournaments while this issue persists but still my focus is to work on getting back to the routine I have had since I started playing. (2/2)— Sam Horsfield (@hr59sam) November 4, 2018
Horsfield finished T10 at the Turkish Airlines Open and is currently 49th in the Race to Dubai, meaning he still has a realistic chance of winning Rookie of the Year should he have a strong finish to the season at the Nedbank Golf Challenge and DP World Tour Championship.
What do you think?
Are you ok with seeing this as long as it is a temporary thing? Or do you find the length of time Horsfield was taking over the ball unacceptable regardless? Let us know in the 'Comments' section below.