We always had a suspicion that Kevin Na was the slowest player on tour -- that video up there is in real time, for one thing -- and now science has proven it! Over at Golf.com, Peter Kostis timed 45 players in the back nine of the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. And the results, you'll see, are surprising only in how unsurprising they are.
The PGA Tour mandates that players take no longer than 45 seconds. Stop laughing, it's true. But guess what: lots of players take much longer! It's true! Let's go to the stats.
Kostis' study tracked 1,497 shots. Of those, 279, or just over 18 percent, took longer than 45 seconds. Worst offender? Mr. Na, who took more than the mandated time on 18 of 31 shots. Also in the near-50-percent mix: Nick O'Hern (52 percent), JB Holmes (47 percent) and John Senden (44 percent).
The fastest? Rickie Fowler, who averaged 16 seconds. Na's longest shot prep was 91 seconds for a 10-foot birdie putt. And he missed. Of course he did.
For purposes of comparison, the study also tracked amateurs at a North Carolina course. One of the most interesting elements of the study showed the length of time pros and amateurs spent on each shot. Pros spent an average of 25 seconds on their first shot, 33 on their second, 36 on their third, 26 on their fourth, 27 on their fifth, and 13 on their sixth. That third shot, obviously, is the key, the difference between par and bogey/par and birdie in many cases.
Amateurs, on the other hand, spent 27 seconds on their first shot, and progressively less on each successive one, down to 8 seconds on their fifth shot. (The "get in the damn hole!" slap.) The lesson? Slow down a touch ... but only on the shots themselves. The average amateur round took a mind-numbing four hours and 58 minutes.
So there you go ... amateurs, get off the course faster. And Na, for heaven's sake, pick up the freaking pace.
- Kevin Na
- Peter Kostis