Note: I’m sure I’ll never have the chance to interview DeChambeau, but if he happens to read this, I would love to sit down with him and have a discussion on why he believes that his 3-5 times per round where he takes nearly 3 minutes to hit should be excluded from the rules of golf and slow play.
Well, we’ve reached the top of the mountain and it’s all downhill from here.
After his round at THE NORTHERN TRUST, Bryson DeChambeau spoke with the media about his slow-play issues and instead of acknowledging that he has a problem, he deflected the blame onto other’s caddies and other players.
No, I’m not making it up. Read it for yourself.
“Let’s talk about slow play. I’ll introduce this and talk about it.
“So, here’s the thing, guys. There’s three other people playing out there, and I’m not the only one out there playing golf, right. Is that correct? So, for example, let me give you one example, guys. Stevie Williams. I played with him at the WGC, right. Guess how long it took us to play that round, the third round? Does anyone know? Might want to go check that out. Because we were on their tail every single hole playing with Jason Day and Stevie.”
That’s part one of blaming another player’s caddie. It’s also part where DeChambeau asks a question and then doesn’t give the answer because he doesn’t know it.
“A lot of it’s the caddies. A lot of it’s the other players. They don’t care about walking fast. I play a different way out there. I take my 40 seconds that’s allotted, sometimes over, absolutely. Totally agree.”
“It’s maybe five percent of the time. But I’ll tell you that it’s really kind of unfortunate the way it’s perceived because there’s a lot of other guys that take a lot of time. They don’t talk about this matter and for me personally, it is an attack and it is something that is not me whatsoever. People don’t realize the harm that they are doing to the individuals.
“And look, this is about playing golf, right. I’m trying to enjoy my time out there and play golf in the best way possible and I’m sprinting between every single shot because sometimes playing partners and caddies don’t walk at the necessary speed that they need to. This is a four-person job when we are talking about this. When you catch me out at my normal golf course, I’ll be playing in 2 1/2 hours. I hate playing golf. I absolutely hate it. I love competition. It’s the most fun thing in the world for me, but when people start talking to me about slow play and how I’m killing the game, I’m doing this and that to the game, that is complete and utter you-know-what. That’s not fair.”
Not buying the 2 1/2 hours, Bryson. And yeah, slow play is a problem on the PGA Tour, and you are a part of that problem.
“Look, I am not really that sensitive of a guy. I don’t get hurt by a lot of things. It’s not like I’m throwing clubs and slamming clubs, you know.”
Anyone remember what happened on the range at The Open in 2018?
I’m going to skip ahead here because he’s rambling on.
Q. And the players this morning, too?
“Sure, Eddie, Pepperell, not fair to say. I would love to speak to him personally and talk about it, because I played with him, actually, at WGC México. We can talk about that time that we played it in.”
Obviously, the outspoken Pepperell would know how slow DeChambeau is having played with him.
Q. That particular video that was on there —
“Oh, yeah, this is fun.”
Q. On 8 green. It took like two minutes and 20 seconds?
Q. That obviously is one —
“Five percent, where we looked at it, it was a very difficult read. It was on a bit of a crown, trying to read it, best of my ability. Couldn’t figure out a way to play it four inches out because that’s what the book said. That’s what it looked, or that’s what it said in the book. Didn’t look like that to my eyes.”
Can we just do away with these stupid books? Bryson went to his book three times to look at something he should have been able to remember the first time he looked at it.
Skipping ahead again…
Q. Did any player say anything to you to your face between last night and today?
“No. No. Not one.”
Of course, they didn’t. The two guys you were playing with made enough motions and gestures that you should have been able to figure out how they feel without them having to tell you to, “speed it up!”
Q. Are you opposed or in favor of slow players being called out?
“100 percent slow players being called out. 100 percent.”
At this point, it’s apparent that the self-awareness is not there.
Q. But isn’t there a contradiction?
“That’s what you think.”
No, that’s not what “we” think, Bryson. It is what we KNOW!
Q. I don’t think anything. I’m just wondering.
“You think that I’m a slow player.”
If you’re banging your head against the wall right now, I fully understand because when I got to this point in his comments, my head was spinning.
Q. I didn’t say that.
“But that’s what you implied. That’s what you implied. You can’t say — that’s what you implied. So we start talking about this, let’s take actually how long it took me to play 17 from walking to tee, hitting my tee shot, walking all the way there, hitting my shot relative to Dylan’s times that he had, right, and let’s add that up and see how long it took me to take the hole. Let’s really talk about that, and that’s what I think should be done in the near future because it’s not telling the whole story.”
Yes, lets. So, now that you’ve posed this time issue on 17, do you have an answer or are you just spitting out rhetorical questions?
“It’s frustrating. Puts me in a light that I don’t believe I’m in.”
You’ve been correctly labeled as a “SLOW PLAYER.”
And now DeChambeau addresses Pepperell.
Q. Does it bother you that two British guys who aren’t even in the field here —
“They are sitting on the couches Tweeting.”
Pretty sure they’re sitting there wondering the same thing the rest of us are wondering, “How does it take you 2:20 to hit an eight-foot putt two cups to the right?”
Q. On social media.
“It is what it is. Look, they are — they are great individuals. I’m not going to say anything bad about them. My competitors here on TOUR, they have all been nice to me and I don’t have any issues with any of them. We are all trying to do our best to play well and make our livelihoods and win tournaments, right. But when you start personally attacking people on Twitter, it’s like, come on, dude. Let’s have some more — let’s have some more — I was going to say something else, but let’s have some more balls to comeuppance and speak to me to my face about that.”
Ok, I do agree that if these guys are willing to say it on Twitter, they should be willing to say it to DeChambeau face – I’m going to assume that Pepperell is probably more than willing to express his feelings to DeChambeau’s face – however, having a behind-the-scenes discussion between players isn’t going to draw the attention of the PGA Tour or help in the effort to fix slow play.
Michael is the founder and Editor in Chief of The Stiff Shaft. He is also the Senior Editor of Golfweek Custom Media and covers the World Long Drive for Golf Channel.
He has 8+ years of covering golf, is an LSU fan, and prefers to hit driver-wedge as often as possible.