If there is one thing that sticks in Paul Lawrie’s craw then it is slow play. As an outspoken critic of the game’s snail-like campaigners, the Aberdonian is not afraid to make his feelings known.
It was no surprise then that the ponderous palavers that Bryson DeChambeau embarked on during last weekend’s Northern Trust Open just about had Lawrie cracking the cat o’ nine tails in an exasperated fankle.
DeChambeau came in for stinging criticism from leading players, pundits and the public and while he initially defended his actions with a long-winded, condescending lecture to the media, the Ryder Cup player has since admitted he will work on improving his pace of play.
Lawrie, who is competing in this weekend’s Scottish Senior Open at Craigielaw, described DeChambeau’s self-defence as a “rambling mess” and lamented the fact that PGA Tour officials failed to take a strong stance.
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“What I don’t get is that they have a video of him [DeChambeau] taking two minutes 20 seconds to hit an eight-foot putt and taking three minutes to hit a 70-yard chip so why can’t they act on that?,” said Lawrie. “The players are up in arms about it. Players understand it’s hard for officials to catch players. They are clever. When they go on the clock they speed up.
“[Bernhard] Langer has done it for as long as we can remember. You can’t catch him. But Bryson was caught red-handed on video so do something about it.
“Bryson could have just held his hands up, said sorry, say I’ve been caught and that he’ll do something about it. It’s the easiest answer he could give. But oh no, he goes the other route and blames other people.
“If they [tour officials]don’t take action now then they never will. That was a big backlash. I’ve never seen anything like that before.
“At least they [the PGA Tour]have said they will review their [slow play]policy but I’d be surprised if that happens. The only way you will stop it is with a referee with every game.
“On our tour [in Europe]I can’t imagine they could afford that. The PGA Tour possibly could. I’m not saying there’s an easy fix but they had an unbelievable opportunity there to give someone a two-shot penalty but they let him go.”