Slow play in golf has been the number one concern of both pros and fans for several years now.
Alongside expenses and availability, slow play is seen as the cause for lower participation and viewing figures.
You would have thought that after countless initiatives and press releases on the matter, that the PGA would do something about it.
You would be wrong.
Sunday came the latest example of a pro taking an eternity to play a single shot.
J.B Holmes needed an eagle on the par-5 final hole to make the playoffs. His playing partners Ryan Palmer and Alex Noren required a birdie and a par respectively to join.
After spending four-and-a-half minutes to play his second shot, surely he brilliantly spun it to within three feet of the hole for the tap in eagle which he needed?
Nope. He played a lay-up instead. Four-and-a-half minutes for a lay-up?!
As one would expect, this did not go unnoticed by his peers.
Ordinarily, slow play might just be a small nuisance in an otherwise controversy-free event. On this occasion, however, J.B’s lack of urgency did have very tangible consequences.
Noren was put off by the delay, and subsequently missed the green on his second shot.
Ultimately, he made par to make the playoffs, but he was denied the opportunity of a very makeable birdie that would’ve meant he won outright.
The slow play of Holmes also meant the playoff itself between, Noren, Palmer, and Day could not be completed before the close.
Day and Noren had to return Monday morning, in front of no spectators, to discover who would be crowned the Farmers Insurance Open champion.
The 40-second per shot rule is only loosely enforced by the professional body and Steve Flesch believes something more effective needs to be in place.
As Daniel Berger rightly points out, though, J.B shall receive plenty of flack for this, as he should, but this level of lethargic play is only indicative of a small percentage of players.