CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Two sides of the pace-of-play debate in professional golf emerged last week but the polarizing issue is not as cut and dry as some would like to believe.
“I see both sides and agree with both of them. [Graeme McDowell] is spot on, it’s incredibly difficult to get around,” Paul Casey said on Wednesday at the Wells Fargo Championship. “It’s a combination of things and the problem is I don’t have a solution. Nobody has a solution and we’re kind of going around in circles. Part of it is set up and part of it is too many players.”
The issue emerged when McDowell was asked to respond to a series of tweets by Edoardo Molinari concerning slow play at last week’s event on the European Tour.
“It’s time that professional golf does something serious for slow play,” tweeted Molinari along with an official list of players who had been timed on the European Tour.
McDowell said Molinari’s comments were “flogging a dead horse.”
“What do you want to do? We can’t get around there much quicker,” McDowell said. “Is 20 minutes going to change his life? Listen, I like Edoardo, nice kid, but I think he’s just frustrated.”
Although Casey was sympathetic to both sides of the issue he did acknowledge that there is a pace-of-play problem in professional golf.
“We always have to be concerned about the image of our sport and brand,” Casey said. “Slow play is one of those things that is part of that brand and can be negative to the image of what we are putting out. It would be remiss of me to say we don’t have an issue because we have to protect the brand and it does make it frustrating to watch live and on TV.”