Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka Vent About Slow Play on the PGA Tour

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistAugust 8, 2019

Brooks Koepka of the United States play his shot from the 1st tee during the final round of the British Open Golf Championships at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland, Sunday, July 21, 2019.(AP Photo/Jon Super)
Jon Super/Associated Press

Count Brooks Koepka, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy among those who want to see the pace of play on the PGA Tour improve moving forward. 

Pace of play entered the spotlight last month after Koepka appeared visibly annoyed by playing partner J.B. Holmes taking his time during the 2019 Open Championship.

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Walking off 12 green, Koepka stares at an official and points to his non-existent watch.

Now, golf's top stars are sounding off on the issue.

While saying the slow pace has "gotten out of hand," Koepka—a four-time majors champ—noted that playing quickly hasn't affected his ability to win, via ESPN's Bob Harig:

"It seems there are so many sports psychologists and everybody telling everybody that they can't hit until they are ready; you have to fully process everything. I take 15 seconds and go, and I've done all right. So I don't understand taking a minute and a half."

And if PGA Tour officials want to use him as a test subject, he is more than willing to do so if it means making the sport better. While admitting to purposely slowing down at times to bring attention to the issue, the World No. 1 volunteered to be the "guinea pig" for new rules.

He's not alone in his stance, either.

McIlroy believes the issue can be solved with the enforcement of a simple rule: a warning for a first offense and a one-stroke penalty for subsequent violations:

"We are not children that need to be told five or six times what to do. 'OK, you're on the clock. OK, I know if I play slowly here, I'm going to get penalized.' I think that's the way forward.

"I think the guys that are slow are the guys that get too many chances before they are penalized. So it should be a warning and then a shot. It should be you're put on the clock and that is your warning, and then if you get a bad time while on the clock, it's a shot. That will stamp it out right away."

The 43-year-old Woods pointed out that this has been an issue for years.

"What about the guys behind them and the logjam that creates," Woods said, per Harig. "We've been fighting that for, God, ever since I grew up watching the game, guys were complaining about slow play. We can only go as fast as the group in front of us goes." 

Golf is hardly the only sport that has been facing pace-of-play concerns in recent years. Major League Baseball has taken steps such as clocking the time in between pitches and limiting the number of mound visits a team can make per game. While the league is still toying with additional ideas, such as a pitch clock, there have been measures taken to try to keep games moving.

In golf, the players aren't necessarily asking for drastic measures to be taken. However, they are letting their voices be heard—and they want things to change.