Ever since he broke into the PGA Tour in 2016, Bryson DeChambeau has enjoyed a reputation as the most intellectual player on tour. The physics major, the single-length irons, the constant checking of yardage books and all the other calculations he uses. It all made for a distinct identity.
Unfortunately, another side of DeChambeau is that he can take quite a long time before his shots. Enough time that it’s beginning to chafe some of his PGA Tour colleagues.
The criticism started when video of two shots from DeChambeau at The Northern Trust on Friday went viral.
Bryson DeChambeau takes his sweet time
In both videos, DeChambeau can be seen taking more than two minutes to pace out and read shots.
anyone need a nap?
here’s DeChambeau pacing off a 70-yard shot which took over 3 minutes to hit (couldn’t post the entire video it took so long) pic.twitter.com/7A3Azeftyu
— Eric Patterson (@EPatGolf) August 9, 2019
Slow play has become a major talking point in golf in the last few days, with top pros Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy blasting PGA officials for being unwilling to enforce pace of play rules.
The PGA Tour’s rules dictate that if a group is “out of position,” each player is given 40 seconds to hit their shot, with some wiggle room given in special circumstances. Failing to take a shot in that 40-second time frame can result in a one-stroke penalty, but such a punishment is rarely given. DeChambeau was assessed no penalty for his pair of slow shots.
PGA Tour golfers criticize Bryson DeChambeau
Several PGA Tour pros took to Twitter lamenting DeChambeau’s approach, including his partner for the day, Justin Thomas.
— Justin Rose (@JRoseWXYZ) August 10, 2019
Can’t believe there are people who defend this guys pace of play and how many examples will it take for him to get penalty shots !! Total joke and feel sorry for his playing partners https://t.co/YRYSUWYgjK
— Paul Lawrie (@PaulLawriegolf) August 10, 2019
It was hard to! ⏰
— Justin Thomas (@JustinThomas34) August 10, 2019
Andrew I’m sorry you’ve stopped watching the @PGATOUR. There are a few players that continually disrespect their fellow pro’s and continue to break the rules without a conscience. It should be self policed but clearly this won’t happen.. so disappointing it hasn’t been stopped. https://t.co/yxfF2fFZ2D
— Ian Poulter (@IanJamesPoulter) August 10, 2019
— Thomas Bjorn (@thomasbjorngolf) August 10, 2019
No kidding. That is not okay @b_dechambeau. What in good hell was that?
— Graham DeLaet (@GrahamDeLaet) August 10, 2019
Slow play is “slowly “ ruining the game of golf. It’s time the people that can do something, did something. Having said that , the players that are pathetically slow should just have more respect for their playing partners. And get on with it!
— Lee Westwood (@WestwoodLee) August 10, 2019
Just look at Tommy and Justin, both looking completely bored. Slow players do this to their playing partners making the game less enjoyable. Problem is, the unaffected single minded twit in this instance, doesn’t care much for others.
— Eddie Pepperell (@PepperellEddie) August 10, 2019
DeChambeau had a less than happy reaction to the torrent of social media criticism.
Bryson DeChambeau defends his pace of play
After his round at The Northern Trust on Saturday, DeChambeau defended himself with reporters.
Rather than explain how he’ll avoid taking less time before shots than it took to run the entire 2019 Kentucky Derby, DeChambeau doubled down and complained his colleague’s harsh words are hurtful. He also said he wasn’t the only golfer who takes his time on the course.
Via Golf Digest:
“I play a different way out there. I take my 40 seconds that’s been allotted, sometimes over, absolutely,” DeChambeau said after his third-round 71 put him at six under, eight shots behind leader Patrick Reed. “Totally agree. It’s maybe 5 percent of the time. But I’ll tell you that it’s really kind of unfortunate the way it’s perceived because there’s a lot of other guys that take a lot of time. They don’t talk about this matter, and for me personally, it is an attack. … People don’t realize the harm they are doing to the individuals.”
According to ESPN, DeChambeau also claimed he isn’t given enough credit for how fast he gets to the ball in the first place, and contended that he should get some leeway for his routine. That argument reportedly drew a strong rebuke from Thomas:
"Absolutely not,” said Justin Thomas, who played with DeChambeau on Friday and looked visibly annoyed in the videos circulating on social media. "Again, it's not a time. The fact of the matter is you walk fast to your ball, we're still a hole and a half behind. It's not working. You don't get timed on how fast you get to the ball. If anything, I walk slower to my ball because then by the time I get there, my caddie's there. But if you're second or third to hit, I'll get to my ball and get my yardage, so I'll already have it. And that's fine.
"But walking to your ball really quickly and not starting your process until it's your turn, it's defeating the purpose.”
We’ll just have to see how DeChambeau paces himself on the course on Sunday. He is currently tied for 24th place at 6-under.
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