If three things in life are certain, it’s death, taxes, and golfers being involved in slow play controversies.
Each month there appears to be a fresh complaint regarding slow play, be it from a rules official or a tour player.
The month of March has only just begun and already someone is getting in on the act, this time it’s Francesco Molinari’s turn to vent his frustration.
Playing in the WGC Mexico event, Molinari was given his first time violation for over 13 years.
Not normally regarded as one of the ‘slow’ PGA players, the Italian’s group had been put on the clock for falling behind, and when he took more than the allotted 50 seconds for his shot, the officials stepped in.
Naturally had a few things to say about it and took to Twitter after his round:
“Today I got the second bad time of my career 13 years after the first one! Incredible how 62 seconds when you have 50 to hit the shot cost you a bad time and then people taking 2 minutes over a shot are ok.”
“No reason to appeal the bad time. The rules are clear and I took too long. The problems is: players dramatically changing their routine when the referee is timing them (I clearly didn’t as I don’t feel I need to)
"Let’s time players with no warning and see what happens.”
It should be stressed that Molinari only received a warning for this. Had he done similar again he would’ve then been given a penalty; something which hasn’t occurred in a strokeplay event since Glen Day in 1995.
Another warning this season though, and the Italian will receive a fine.
The issue has become a massive talking point of late, after the glacial play of J.B Holmes a few weeks back, it seems the wrath of the players has now shifted onto the system in place, as opposed to the ‘snails’ who flout it.
Francesco is one such person who concurs that system is need of a major revamp:
“Not my point. I know I took too long. Happened twice in 14 years. I have been on the clock a lot of times in between these bad times. Never seen a slow player take a bad time ”
Let’s not disregard the possibility here that Molinari is just naturally one of the slower players on the tour.
Though he is not usually known for it, as mentioned previously, fellow professional Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño believes otherwise:
“It was about time you got caught. You are slow. That’s the reason I don’t play with you any more. That and because I’m on @WebDotComTour.”
Wherever you stand on the topic, it appears as though it isn’t one which is going to go away any time soon.