Another lovely day at Riviera with flawless weather and light crowds making an already perfect spectator course that much more convenient. Number 10 was its usual delight to watch, though players are finding it almost too easy to drive now. So some of the most interesting decision making is beginning to disappear. But with U-grooves going to V-grooves, that should change everything!
It's also startling to see so many world class players with no one watching. Friday afternoon's tend to draw decent crowds though. But the weather has been so poor for so many years, that I wonder if the traditional Friday types remember what a festive day it once was.
Or perhaps the crowds were light because of the abysmally slow pace of play and the funeral atmosphere resulting from this death march. Two groups did not finish due to darkness and another three or four groups played in near darkness. It's just not enjoyable to watch with everyone standing around and taking five hours to play in perfect weather with no rough.
Slow play, more than the ball or course setup or drone-like personalities, is killing the pro game as a spectator sport. And the lack of buzz on site translates to television. (Hint to ad people: the 18-34 year olds aren't into watching funerals.)
So here's what I propose. We take away the player bathrooms on the course, allow them to wear those Lisa Nowak astronaut diapers and start dishing out 2-shot penalities to each player in a group that doesn't finish in 4 hours and 30 minutes. And don't give me the nonsense about how it's just a few bad apples. They're all slow because you have to be slow, otherwise a fast player would lose his mind out here.