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He’s been the villain for the past three days, but Patrick Cantlay doesn’t think he was the culprit for slow play at Augusta National.  

Playing in the penultimate group at the Masters, Cantlay took some heat from playing partners and viewers over what Brooks Koepka perceived as “brutally slow” play.  

However, Cantlay insists he wasn’t the problem. Speaking before this week’s RBC Heritage, the world No. 4 said that his group wasn’t at fault for the glacial pace of the final round. 

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“We finished the first hole, and the group in front of us was on the second tee when we walked up to the second tee, and we waited all day on pretty much every shot,” said Cantlay.  

“We waited on the 15th fairway, we waited on the 18th fairway. I imagine it was slow for everyone.” 

The 31-year-old went on to say that after his time on the PGA Tour’s Player Advisory Council, he believes the time of rounds on the PGA Tour haven’t greatly changed, and that the tough conditions at Augusta National played a part in the five-hour long final round on Sunday.   

“One thing that’s interesting sitting on the PAC is you get all the numbers and the data, and rounds have taken about the same length of time for the last ten or 20 years that they currently take,” he explained.  

“When you play a golf course like Augusta National where all the hole locations are on lots of slope and the greens are really fast, it’s just going to take longer and longer to hole out. 

“I think that may have been what attributed to some of the slow play on Sunday, and then also when the wind is gusting and the wind is blowing maybe inconsistently, that’s when guys will take a long time, too. I think that’s just the nature of playing professional golf, where every shot matters so much.”

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Cantlay’s words are unlikely to appease those who firmly believe he was the main culprit for a painfully slow afternoon at Augusta National.  

Many will point to his playing partner, Viktor Hovland, playing a chip on the 13th while Cantlay was still on the fairway.  

As well as that, there’s the now infamous image of Brooks Koepka and eventual Masters champion Jon Rahm, who apparently went to the toilet seven times in his round, waiting on the par-3 16th tee.

Cantlay will get underway at Harbour Town on Thursday at 5.55pm UK time, playing alongside Corey Conners and Collin Morikawa. 

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Lewis Fraser As bunkered’s Performance Editor, Lewis oversees the content that’s designed to make you a better player. From the latest gear to tuition, nutrition, strategy and more, he’s the man. A graduate of the University of Stirling, Lewis joined bunkered in 2021. Formerly a caddie at Castle Stuart Golf Links, he is a member of Bathgate Golf Club where he plays off four.

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