There is a much undermining interest in Shanghai's WGC event. The limited field, slow play, mediocre architecture and even $43,000 in purse pay for guys who get DQ'd. The cherry on the Sunday sundae came with some veteran backstopping, that confirmed this PGA Tour "product" was more exhibition than a serious event.
And while I don't want to pick on Stenson for slow play given the overall pace of the rounds, he did take a robust minute and 48 seconds in the ninth fairway Sunday. This happened after waiting on the group in front of himself, Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson. (The fast-playing DJ leaned hard on his club the entire time).
But it was Stenson's generous move to leave a wedge shot by the hole as a backstop, even though both Johnson and Koepka faced plugged bunker lies (and boy do they sure play fast when given a backstop!).
Even though the two players were two strokes ahead of Stenson on the leaderboard, Stenson did not feel obliged to protect the field or his own welfare, prompting a fun set of comments from Golf Channel's Phil Blackmar about how the game has changed. The backstopping:
Thought: there is a better than decent chance Johnson and Koepka could play Stenson and eventual HSBC Champions winner Justin Rose in next year's Ryder Cup. I wonder if Stenson would leave his ball down as a backstop then? If so, then the game really has changed!