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It appears the DP World Tour’s slow play problems aren’t going away anytime soon.

Last year, Mike Lorenzo Vera told bunkered that it was fighting a ‘fake battle’ to eradicate the perennial issue, insisting that plenty of players are irritated about it.

That was before Eddie Pepperell revealed on X that one player had racked up over £100,000 in slow play fines throughout 2023.

Now, LIV Golf’s Thomas Pieters – a six-time winner on the formerly known European Tour – has asked why it is accepted before labelling it as ‘cheating’.

Responding to a Q&A post from Pablo Larrazabal on X, the Belgian wrote: “Why is slow play accepted on the European tour?”

Larrazabal, who has won nine DP World Tour titles, replied: “That’s a lost battle my friend… too many mental coaches saying “don’t hit it if you are not sure”.”

It prompted fellow tour member Romain Langasque admitted that slow players ‘pay to be slow’ and just ‘accept to pay fines’.

Pieters, however, went one further and voiced his frustrations. “It’s in the R&A’s rule book how much time you can take, so in my eyes they are cheating.”

The 32-year-old is currently a member of LIV’s RangeGoats GC after making the switch to the Saudi-backed startup in February 2023.

He says slow play is not an issue on LIV and ‘the difference’ is having 56 players, so “you shouldn’t have slow play.”

A fix for Pieters would be to hand out stroke penalties more often. He would “love for that to happen more often,” he said, as it ‘hurts’ more than a fine.

The social media thread gathered plenty of momentum with several tour pros weighing in on the issue.

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Adrien Saddier – who has never won on the DP World Tour – added that “referees don’t do their jobs correctly.”

In January this year, David Howell, who chairs the Tournament Committee, was adamant that the problem is taken seriously.

“I won’t bore you with the details, but on top and as well as the hefty fines already mentioned by @PepperellEddie [but] if you are ignorant enough to ignore all the slow play rules you can rack up a two-shot penalty this year on the DP World Tour,” the English veteran wrote on X.

“We do take slow play seriously.”

Lee Westwood was the latest to aim a pace of play dig, noticing a marked improvement when he made his over 50s debut at last month’s US Senior Open.

“Practice rounds out here are way faster than everywhere else,” Westwood said. “It’s such a joy, and it’s so refreshing to play nine holes in two hours in a practice round. It’s incredible.

“If the old guys can do it, why can’t the young guys do it?”


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John Turnbull A graduate of the University of Stirling, John joined the bunkered team in 2023 as a Content Producer, with a responsibility for covering all breaking news, tour news, grassroots content and much more besides. A keen golfer, he plays the majority of his golf at Falkirk Golf Club. Top of his 'bucket list' is a round of Pebble Beach... ideally in the company of Gareth Bale.

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