Edoardo Molinari took to twitter to name and shame the players violating slow play on the European Tour, but Graeme McDowell responds: ‘We all hear him. We all wish we could play a little faster to attract more people to the sport. We’re trying’.
Edoardo Molinari is sick of slow play on the European Tour.
The slow play debate has been prominant in the world of professional golf for a long time, (and it’s widely noted as being worse on the PGA Tour), but after it took Molinari five and a half hours to play the second round of the Trophee Hassan II, he took to twitter to share his frustrations.
After the original tweet gained a lot of attention, Molinari decided that if his tweet reached over 1000 retweets he would name and shame those who have been contributing to the slow play problem.
Molinari stayed true to his would, and went on to call out the repeat offenders on Tour by releasing a full list of names who have been timed, how many breaches they have been judged to have made, and how much players have been fined. And some of the names on the list are quite surprising – including Edoardo’s brother Francesco.
Spaniard Adrian Otaegui topped the list, having been timed six times in 10 events, with Henrik Stenson behind him on four and a host of players on three – a list which includes Jon Rahm.
Of course, what’s important to bear in mind is that some players have been timed because of the groups they were in and it’s impossible to see what the contributing factor was to these numbers, but interesting none the less.
After his tweets, Graeme McDowell responded by speaking about the issue of slow play at the Zurich Classic in the U.S, and he didn’t sound overly optimistic about it improving any time soon.
“I saw his tweet this morning when he came off the course, ‘We need to play faster, blah, blah, blah.’ I get it,” McDowell said on Saturday. “I hear where Edoardo is coming from, but he is, what shall we say, flogging a dead horse?
“It’s not a dead horse, but it’s pretty dead. What do you want to do? We can’t get around there much quicker. Is 20 minutes going to change his life? Listen, I like Edoardo, nice kid, but I think he’s just frustrated.
“Listen, golf courses are long, golf courses are hard, we’re playing for a lot of money, it’s a big business, it is what it is.There’s just no way to speed the game up really. You can try these small percentiles, but at the end of the day it’s very hard to get around a 7,600-yard golf course with tucked pins with a three-ball in less than 4:45, 5 hours. You can’t do it.”
“It should be public, you know, name and shame. I’m willing to admit I’ve been timed five times so far this year, been put on the clock five times, which is halfway to my 10, which is halfway to a $25,000 fine. I’m aware, but you get in the wrong group on the wrong week and you’re gonna get timed. Henrik Stenson is on six times [according to the list]. Is Henrik a slow player? No, it’s just one of those things.
“I hear Edoardo. We all hear him. We all wish we could play a little faster to attract more people to the sport. We’re trying.”