Tour News

Slow Play Under the Microscope... Again

Adam Scott was playing alongside JB Holmes at Riviera as the American's speed of play came under scrutiny.
Slow play at the professional level is not a new phenomenon and the issue has again been thrust into the spotlight following JB Holmes' winning display at the Genesis Open in Los Angeles.

Holmes - known as one of the slower players on the PGA Tour - was, to put it kindly, meticulous in his pre-shot routine for much of today's final round at Riviera Country Club.

It has again reignited debate as to whether all the professional tours should properly enforce their rules regarding pace of play.

The 36-year-old took well beyond his allocated time for several shots, though it is important to note that professionals regularly take longer to play a shot than what is allowed.

Under the PGA Tour's rules, players are generally afforded 40 seconds to hit a shot, though not always. Pros are given 60 seconds to play if they're the first to: tee off on a par-three, play their second shot on a par-4 or par-5, play their third shot on a par-5 or play on or around the green.

It didn't take too long for Holmes' speed of play to be called into question, with the video below showing his preparation for a putt on the fourth green which comes after his playing partners had already played short shots from around the green.

A host of other golf commentators, journalists, players and fans also offered their thoughts on Holmes' speed of play via Twitter.

When asked by a reporter about the speed of play in his winner's press conference, Holmes defended himself.

“Well, you play in 25-mile-an-hour gusty winds and see how fast you play when you’re playing for the kind of money and the points and everything that we’re playing for," he said.

"The greens are fast... You can't just get up there and whack it when it's blowing that hard and you've got to read wind and there's a lot of slope on these greens, it's not an easy golf course." 

Holmes also came under attack at last year's Farmers Insurance Open after he took longer than four minutes to play a shot on the 72nd hole.

His playing partner today in Los Angeles, Adam Scott, made comments on the eve of the Genesis Open critical of the speed of play on tour, saying he'd be willing to take a penalty to prove a point.

And the Queenslander's remarks after today's final round sounded like someone resigned to the fact that the PGA Tour won't properly enforce its slow play rules any time soon.

"My thing on slow play is it’s never going to change,” Scott said.

“Until television and sponsors say ‘No more money,’ slow play ain’t going to change.”

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