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« Southern Hills Still Hopeful For U.S. Open | Main | 2013 Farmers Insurance Open Final Round Comment Thread »

Farmers Final Round Pace Of Play

Tiger Woods, after winning his 75th PGA Tour event and 7th tour event at Torrey Pines in the Farmers Insurance Open, on the pace of play Monday:

TIGER WOODS:  Well, the group ahead of us was a hole behind most of the entire back nine.  I don't know if they were warned or not or they were timed.  But we were just playing slow.  We were just having to wait on every shot, so it got a little slow.

The three of us were losing our patience a little bit out there.  I certainly was.  Unfortunately, it affected my play a little bit.

Here's a fun and useless fact that I put in my Golf World game story from Torrey: it took the Woods threesome 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete their final 11 holes playing behind Erik Compton, Brad Fritsch and Steve Marino who were more than a hole behind by the end.

The 2008 U.S. Open playoff between Woods and Rocco Mediate was 19 holes and took 4 hours and 33 minutes. And they took their sweet time that day!

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Reader Comments (51)

That was the slowest pga golf I have ever seen. Compton's group should be embarassed about their behavior today...
If Finchem doesn't fine any of those three based on today, he's officially a giant puss.
01.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Taggart
I'm sure they'll be fined, but unless you give strokes it doesn't matter
01.28.2013 | Unregistered Commenterelf
I used to enjoy golf on tv, but with the slow play and lack of actual golf being shown, I think I'm going to stick to the majors and be done with it. Just brutal to watch.
01.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRub the grundle
Agree Rub. It's now unwatchable. I tried for a while yesterday and switched to college hoops.
01.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterCalgary Tim
Your solution makes too much sense. According to Geoff's twitter, Finchem has never fined anybody for slow play. So the chances of either of us getting what we want is pretty small.

Also, cleaning up slow play on the tour would be great for all viewers - both the informed and casual. For a casual viewer to switch to the golf - and discover they must endure watching an akward looking, swedish dressed fat guy spend 5 minutes over his ball - that isn't watchable television for anybody.
01.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Taggart
Brutal and unwatchable. So sad to see, hope Riviera is better on TV...
01.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMr. Columbia
I am Erik's caddie. we waited all day on almost every shot along with everyone else which is what happens when 87 guys make the cut and the tour decides not to administer the 3rd round cut and re pair groups. Our playing partner Steve Marino who was 8 under and in 4th place at the time hooked a drive in the hazard on 17, had to drop behind a tree, hit it 50 yards short and left of the green against a scoreboard and had to then get a ruling. On 18, Erik's ball came to rest in a tent right of the fairway. we had to call for a ruling to confirm where we should drop. the first official that showed up for some reason thought our nearest point of relief was left of the tent. We agued with him that the nearest point was clearly right of the tent. he dis agreed and told us we could call for a second opinion. We chose to call for another opinion and 5 min later the second official confirmed with us that we were in fact correct that our nearest point of relief was to the right of the tent. things in real life are much different than they appear in your living room
01.28.2013 | Unregistered Commenterron
Tiger complaining about slow play is like Lenin complaining about Communism. Tiger is singularly responsible for 90% of slow play in 2013 on planet Earth. He's even responsible for the slow play of the other guys playing in front of him because he's been doing it for so many years that everyone picked it up.
01.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike Urann
Rocco's world-renown as a slow player. Tried to use the Dean Smith 4 Corners offense on Tiger.
01.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterScott
Mike Wipe Urranus because you just pulled an Al Roker with that comment.
01.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTom F.
I don't blame one single player - though yes traditionally Tiger has seemed as slow as anyone (tho maybe that's b/c he's one of the only players TV shows walking around the greens). I blame the entire culture of the players and lack of enforcement by the PGA suits. As is there's no fear of repercussions (ie +1 stroke) so they take a long time to play a shot ie looking at putts from 7 different angles. How can us amateurs play 18 holes in 4 hours shooting 90 strokes where these pros take 5-6 hours playing 70 strokes? Timmy Fincham needs to grow a pair and put an end to this.
what an embarrassment these guys are...pga tour officials are to blame just as much as these clowns

i laffed wen faldo sed that compton played 18 as 800 yards, several rulings later...put us out of our misery
01.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterUmp
ron, were you ever put on the clock?

you may have waited early in the day, but the live@ web coverage doesn't lie. Your group teed off on the par-5 13th after the Watney group putted out (shottracker confirms this). Yes, everyone was slow, and occasionally you had to deal with some of Tiger's gallery rushing ahead. there may have been a couple of rulings too. But your threeball was out of position on every hole the last two hours.

It's hard to blame Tiger for slow play unless you want to blame him for his loud boisterous galleries. He's not always the fastest when he's grinding in a major, but he was clearly frustrated today.
01.28.2013 | Unregistered Commenterpenneraj
I really do feel bad for fast/reasonable players like Snedeker who can clearly get around in about 2.5 hours, but their jobs demand that they go over 2x as slow as they can. I'd go nuts if I had do do everything at my job at less than half speed because my coworkers couldn't handle going faster.
01.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJim S
Mr Ron - Sorry if this seems rude or ignorant, but I watched this afternoon and cheered for your man - having said that, can you explain why as the green is cleared suddenly there is a 90 second conversation about the shot that should be attempted? This adds up when the three some (again not your fault I understand) but none the less 90 seconds when it's your turn to hit.

If I did this, even on a sunny Sunday with beer in hand on the back nine at Unicorn-ville GC, i would be heckled to hurry like you wouldn't believe.

I mention Erik only because you were (un)lucky enough to show yourself, but it seems true of most of the players - play does not start the moment the camera (as metophoric as that is) light glows red - your shot begins the second it is clear and safe to lauch a ball.
01.28.2013 | Unregistered CommentermP
Tiger is pretty middle of the pack on tour nowadays. He used to be faster. But he's also one of the few guys you see with the set-up etc, and if it's close at the end of a tournament he slows down. But I think he prefers to play faster. Check out the pace of play for when he and Rory were in the China exhibition. And unless he has a rather slow player in his group, he generally spends a lot of time waiting. Now Jack, Jack was slow.
01.28.2013 | Unregistered Commenterelf
LOL at the hypocrisy of one of the slowest players in pro golf calling out anyone for slow play.
01.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJeremy
ron, you may be right and things may appear different on TV, but TV is what I have to go on and your man is slow.
It's not just golf. World Series Games (only 9 inning games counted):

1965 7 games 2:06-2:34
1975 5 games 2:27-2:52
1985 7 games 2:19-2:59
1995 6 games 2:33-3:17
2005 4 games 3:11-3:20
2010 5 games 2:32-3:36
2012 4 games 3:05-3:34

So, from the first World Series I remember watching until a few months ago, the same game takes about an hour longer, or about 50% more time at the low end. Wonder why that is? The 1965 World Series was played in daylight, where the angels could see Sandy Koufax beat Jim Kaat (yes, that Jim Kaat) 2-games-to-1, with Claude Osteen and Don Drysdale picking up the other two. Ten years later, I'm pretty sure the Big Red Machine beat the Red Sox in prime time, and it took a little longer. By last year, TV pretty much dictated that the World Series games would last a full hour longer. No need to wonder why that is. It is the same reason that, for today's event, the players were not in place 15 minutes after sunrise (6:46) with the horn sounding 5 minutes after that for a reasonable 7:01 start. OK, make it a little more reasonable: 7:15. Be done by 10:15 local time and on the way to Phoenix for those who needed to be there. It's not like the TOUR couldn't have afforded to charter an Embraer for the few players who needed it...LOL.

The NFL probably doesn't release figures for the Super Bowl (wiki was silent, as was, but I know it didn't take the Chiefs the 4 hours to beat the Vikings in 1970 that it will take Colin Kaepernick to dispatch Ray Lewis and his buds this Sunday (yeah, OK; I still have something against Art Modell and I was working in Baltimore when the Browns became the Ravens). College football is damn near unwatchable for the same reason, especially in person when the game is being televised. One of these days someone is going to kidnap that little man in the red hat who walks out on the field to enforce TV timeouts. Such delays are not good for the sport or its players.

Keep it up and eventually even the slowest will realize that 3.5-hour baseball games and 4-hour football games are complete wastes of time. It's certainly no mystery what slow golf is doing to the Greatest Game, both on our courses in the hinterlands and on TV (way too frequently) from wherever Tim's Traveling Exhibition finds itself. But hey, the money flows like water. For the time being.
01.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
When you play in the last group, you wait. Tiger isn't the problem. When there are two or three groups left playing, where are the rules guys?
01.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterP-Dog
Lookee there, Torrey awarded 50 world ranking points and Qatar only got 48 ;0)
01.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
@KLG - it probably doesn't account for whole hour, but off the top of my head, I'd say increased time between innings for commercials, and a lot more mid inning pitching changes. Plus, if you had players stepping out of the box and readjusting their equipment after every pitch like we see now, a guy like Don Drysdale would have put one in his ear. Also, 1965 was a much lower run environment with the higher mound.
01.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSeitz
I know nothing about baseball back in the day but didn't pitchers like, pitch, the in the whole game? Now it takes 5 pitchers to get through a game.
01.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
I'll probably get flamed for this, but if pace of play is your problem (and it is for me) try watching european soccer (not MLS mediocrity) last under 2 hours EVERY TIME, including half time! There are no time outs, no instant replays. It's 45 minutes per half, with a arbitrary amount added based on injuries, penalties etc...usually 3-5 minutes per half. Overtime and penalty shootouts only occur in knockout games during tournaments.

Some people may find it dull, but the most exciting sports moment of this decade was probably Manchester City's last minute miracle vs QPR to win the Premier League last spring (and the Champions League games weren't too shabby either!).
01.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterManku
Torrey = Qatar?

"Tiger won Torrey?, Big deal."

"Whadaya mean Big deal? It's basically the same as winning the Qatar Masters. That's huge."

Torrey = Qatar? I don't get it.
Torrey 50 > Qatar 48

That's huge!
01.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Good post KLG. I'd like to see a breakdown by sport like by sport over the years. Football and basketball would have to be tied for the worst due to the simple fact that there are timeouts and the suits just make new rules allowing for more. Agree with the others that baseball's increase is primarily due to the game changing over the years (ie more pitchers/runs) though part of the blame is on the players for taking longer to play. I think that is mainly golf's problem and slow play has become acceptable behavior and rarely challenged. I've only been following the PGA for about 10 years now so don't know the full history but recall Ben Crane's slowness and saying "I know it's a problem and I'm working on it" while Rory steams off the course and becomes the villain. The suits in Ponte Vedra tolerate it. Slow play = longer rounds = more commercials = more $$$. This isn't anything anyone reading this doesn't already know but it's worth repeating. If they really wanted to change this they could by enforcing penalties and probably more importantly reducing the cut size down to the Euro level of 60.
01.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJack Straw
@Manku - last year's EPL finish WAS the the most exciting finish to a single sporting event in the world in the last decade!!!!!!


Being The "Abu Dhabi Golfer" you know I am all about City!

Ripping the hearts out of Man U fans like that was a sight to behold.

As the colour commentating said: "Drink it in because I swear you will never see anything like this again!"

That day was even bigger than the day of the Escapade with the Escalade!
01.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAbu Dhabi Golfer
You think Tiger-hating is out of control. You should see the that hatred Man U and Man City fans have the opposing teams! American sports are too puffball to grasp it.

"You should enjoy watching sports for the pure joy of it." Enjoy your figure skating.
01.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterHard by the Sea
The solution to today's slow play would have been to cancel the round. It was a foregone conclusion as of yesterday and all we saw today was Tiger hacking his way around and limping to the finish. The only guy who seems to have cared that there was a fourth round was Josh Teater.
01.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterStevie W
@Manku - agree 100% about Euro soccer. 99% of the matches last between exactly 1:52 and 1:56. Sure you get some flopping and bs penalties and FIFA is corrupt as they come but the running clock with constant ball movement and no timeouts makes the sport so much more enjoyable to watch. Nothing drives me crazier as an American sport fan as the timeout. Another big +1 for soccer is that when a match is listed to start at 2:45pm it starts at 2:45pm. To the exact minute you could set your watch to it. This is the complete opposite of say the NBA which has a listed start time of 10:30pm and actually tips off at 10:50pm. Total BS. Add in the ~16 timeouts and all the other wasted time like reviews and it's amazing that the fans and players tolerate it.
01.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJack Straw
Didn't Butch tell Mickelson that he should try slow roll Tiger when paired with him?

It appears to be kryptonite to Tiger when he is forced to play a bit slower than this desired pace.
01.28.2013 | Unregistered Commentergorsegolf
You'll all have noticed that the NFL on CBS, which used to finish by 7pm (ha, ha), this season was given an extra 1/2 hour, setting back 60 minutes by the same length of time - but at least we who have no interest in grid-iron football thought that we would have a guaranteed on time start for 60 minutes. How naive we are! On at least 3 occasions this winter the football overran by over 10 minutes, without overtime, still delaying 60 minutes. So it's simply that the game, encouraged by the networks, expands to fill the time available (and far more). The same is happening with golf, tennis, and other sports I do watch.

I've only ever seen one NFL game in person, at New England 30-odd years ago. I could not believe how long people at the stadium were prepared to sit around watching nothing happening at all while we waited for TV officials to signal the game could restart. It seemed interminable - and it lasted 2 hours and 25 minutes then. Now it's 4 hours. What have we been reduced to? What circle of hell is this?
01.28.2013 | Unregistered Commenterfourputter

Woods straggling across the finish line to hold off Josh Teater by four.


Wood (as in Chris Wood mind you) eagles 18 to snatch victory away from Sergio Garcia.

I'll see your two points difference in world ranking points and raise you a fantastic finish.
01.28.2013 | Unregistered Commentersgolfer
BTW - ignoring the difference in accents, Josh Teater is a dead-ringer for an overweight Sergio Garcia. Eerie.
01.28.2013 | Unregistered Commentersgolfer
Guys, it was simply a joking comment in relation to a discussion that took place in another thread a couple days ago....relax, deep breaths, I want to be sure you're all able to get a good night of sleep.

Look, I'm smart enough to recognize the fact that other than a $1,000,000 check hitting Tiger's bank account it's basically like this tournament never happened. Torrey is a schlockey 5th tier event that attracts a bunch of what for all intents and purposes are mini-tour players. This one doesn't count, it's as simple as that.
01.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Doesn't count?

Poor Josh Teater - he was even tearing up during his Steve Sands interview.
01.28.2013 | Unregistered Commentersgolfer
You see, here are the...


100PTS -- Masters, US Open, Open Championship, PGA Championship.

80->70PTS -- Players 80, Doral 78, Firestone 76, Matchplay 76, Boston 74, Bethpage 74, Chicago/Crooked Stick 70.

69->60PTS -- Memorial 68, WGC/China 64, BMW PGA Champ. 64, Tour Champ. 62, Riviera 62.

59->55PTS -- Quail Hollow 58, Innisbrook 58, Dubai Champ. 58, Abu Dhabi 58, Bay Hill 56, BMW Masters 56


An expert I know told me that anything below 70pts really does not count with the possible exception of Memorial, and only then when it's won by a player the expert likes, and all the Euro stars aren't tired for Memorial from a medium length flight while laying around in Lazy-Boy's swathed in kid glove leather aboard the latest Gulfstream...if it's a bad player and the Euro's are tired -- Memorial does not count.

By nature I'm a compliant person and there's been no failure in communicating to me that them there's the rules..., my next bit of cipherin' will involve pinning down revised win totals for the top players we care about currently, Phil, Rory and Tiger.

I do know Rory, now entering his 7th calendar year as a touring professional, has a grand total of 4 wins that count. Tomorrow I will try to get around to how many Phil and Tiger each have.

sgolfer, can you get word to Chris Wood that except for the money his victory does not count? Thanks.

As for Teater, those mini-tour players are easily upset...
01.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Kenny Perry has 3 Memorial wins and he's a nice guy, and I'm pretty sure the Euro's were fresh for all of ' Kenny slips in with 3 qualifying wins.

The bad news for Kenny is the other 11 times he had the low score, other than the cash obviously, it really didn't happen -- those don't count.
01.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Jack Straw said- Slow play = longer rounds = more commercials = more $$$.
Did anyone watch the Australian Open tennis? They sit down and have a drink every couple of games so the adverts can roll. And then after the break when they've played one rally, a couple of hits sometimes, they look for a towel to wipe their face. Perhaps all sports are slower for the reason above.

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