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Manchester Evening News: Tom Murray on slow play
Article posted: 15 August 2019

It’s like in football, if players got a yellow or even a red for talking back to the referee – and it was enforced properly – then it would stop straight away. 

- Tom Murray

The whole issue of slow play in golf has kicked off again with Bryson DeChambeau on tv taking 2 mins and 20 seconds to hit an eight-foot putt on the PGA Tour in the United States over the weekend. 

There has been lots of chat about it on social media and he’s come out and defended himself and other players have had their say.

This week he’s said he is going to try to play quicker and I hope he does. To take that long to hit a putt is laughable. If I had been watching I would have changed the channel and I’m a professional golfer so what chance do we have? 

We all know that we have 40 seconds to play our shot (or 50 seconds if you’re first to the ball) and if your group ends up out of position – if a gap opens up to the group in front – then you can end up being timed by a referee. 

A bad time then means a fine but, I know I’m not the first person to say this, the only thing that will change anything is penalising players shots. When there’s so much money riding on it, a fine doesn’t have any impact. 

It’s like in football, if players got a yellow or even a red for talking back to the referee – and it was enforced properly – then it would stop straight away. 

DeChambeau has been at the centre of it but there are far too many clips of people taking forever on shots appearing on social media – even young amateurs. One of the things he said was that he’s trying to entertain people but who wants to watch that? 

I have to slow myself down at times because sometimes I’m wanting to hit the shot before I’ve fully thought about it but I would say I’m average. 

When another player is slow it can affect you by taking you out of your rhythm. If you’re waiting for someone all of the time it can get really boring, it knocks you off kilter and it’s hard. 

That’s not the only thing; twice at the start of this year I played with the same guy. We were the last group out and despite there being no delays we didn’t finish because of the light and had to come back in the morning to finish! 

Some of the more senior players will say something and I have heard it happen but maybe we don’t self-police as much as we should. 

Taking five hours to get around can only be bad for the sport at every level but at least this has got the debate going again and hopefully some good can come from it.

I’m in Prague this week for the Czech Masters on the European Tour and I’ve got a decent run of Sweden next week, hopefully Switzerland the week after, and then Germany and Holland.

The top 110 players keep their cards for next year and I’m 176thon the list at the moment, with 15 weeks left. 

I’m pretty happy with my mindset. Mentally I’m feeling positive and bullish about it. I’m going to attack each round, each tournament and see where it takes me. 

My main aim is obviously to keep my European Tour card but I’ve got Challenge Tour status if I don’t so it’s almost like I’ve got a free hit.

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