For those who’ve watched the various Tours and players defend the pace of today’s game and fight to preserve the rights of entitled, selfish daily repeat-offenders, I have good news!
Field sizes are about to take start taking hits. If there will ever be one thing to make players actually stop defending slow pokes, the loss of playing opportunities might do it.
Rex Hoggard at GolfChannel.com reports on the continued player chatter after Corey Pavin—not known as a super slow player like Bernhard Langer—got zapped with a PGA Tour Champions penalty last weekend.
On the PGA Tour, the inability to finish at tournaments in the winter and spring months is putting pressure on officials to reduce playing opportunities. As it should be. The players can’t play fast enough? Time to start reducing fields!
The Tour’s policy board approved a plan to reduce the field size in Las Vegas from 144 to 132 players. According to a memo sent to players, the decision was made “to give the tournament a better chance of completing Rounds 1 and 2 on schedule.”
To be fair, part of this problem was driven by the event’s move from mid-October to early November, when the daylight window is slightly larger. But there’s no denying the fact that if threesome rounds didn’t regularly stretch past the five-hour mark, this would not be an issue.
This was a fun fact. Television masks this, but think of the fan in attendance who can expect to lose valuable minutes of their life watching a player prepare for a shot.
Perhaps more eye opening are the Tour percentages. Eighty percent of all players took between 31 and 44 seconds to hit shots so far this season, while only 40 percent took between 35 and 40 seconds, which in theory should be the goal given the fine print of the circuit’s policy.
Which means a very large percentage took more than the Rules of Golf allow for. Charming.
But hey, they take their hats off at 18 to shake hands and call penalties on themselves!
Fingers crossed the Genesis Open at Riviera is next on the chopping board. 156 players used to get around there in January. Now at 144 in February, that’s too much for today’s turtles even with almost no rough. Let’s cut those playing opportunities so the serial slow pokes are protected!