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Paul McGinley believes Jason Day’s golf game may suffer as a result of the ‘huge amount of attention’ his slow play comments have put him under.
Earlier this month, the 2015 US PGA champion told reporters ahead of the SBS Tournament of Champions in Hawaii that he ‘didn’t care much’ about speeding up – adding that he had to get back to what made him good.
Along with many others in the game, including Day’s fellow PGA Tour pros Brandt Snedeker and Billy Horschel, the comments drew surprise from McGinley, who says Day must now be prepared to deal with the extra scrutiny.
“He’s now put a huge amount of attention on himself and I don’t think
that’s going to improve his golf,” the 2014 European Ryder Cup captain
told bunkered.co.uk before jetting off to the Middle East for the Abu Dhabi Invitational.
“Everybody knows now that he’s a slow player – his fellow players,
the crowd, TV commentators, while the referees know that he’s not going
to quicken up and that’s going to put him under pressure throughout the
McGinley says a large part of golf’s slow play problem is rooted in
technological advancements, resulting in longer courses being built and
set-ups on existing courses being made much tougher.
“Technology has moved in a direction where it is a lot easier,
certainly for the professionals, to play and as a result you’re not
seeing a huge difference between the No.1 and No.50 ranked players
compared to ten or 15 years ago.
“I’m not against technology – but I’d rather see it benefit amateurs.
They don’t get the improvement through technology that the
“I’d like to see an adjustment focusing more on game improvement
where mishits will improve and the ball won’t curve as much. There’s a
big focus on the performance for professionals and an obsession with
distance, when really it should be about making amateurs better.”
As a past Ryder Cup captain, McGinley was integral in helping devise
the European Tour membership regulations for the 2018 match in Paris,
speaking regularly with chief executive Keith Pelley and captain Thomas
Bjorn (above) before the announcement was made last week.
Unsurprisingly, he believes the changes will give Europe the best
possible chance of winning back the trophy and says it leaves little
sympathy for US-based players should they opt not to take up membership.
“It will give us a very much in-form team going into the Ryder Cup,”
added McGinley. “I think lowering the amount of tournaments to play in
from five to four is a great olive branch to the US-based players like
Jon Rahm, Russell Knox (below) and Paul Casey.
“It will be a surprise and a huge disappointment [if US-based players
don’t now take up European Tour membership]. It’s important for the
players to connect back to their roots in Europe and, if they end up
qualifying for the Ryder Cup, it would be huge for their careers.”
Paul McGinley will be starring at The Abu Dhabi Invitational at Yas Links on January 29 #Unforgettable.
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