AVONDALE, La. – Graeme McDowell understands where Edoardo Molinari is coming from.
Molinari took to Twitter to vent about slow play after playing a five-and-a-half-hour round Saturday at the European Tour’s Trophee Hassan II, saying, “It’s time that professional golf does something serious for slow play.” He then tweeted out a list of every player who has been timed, penalized and fined this season because of slow play in European Tour, WGC and major tournaments.
“I saw his tweet this morning when he came off the course, ‘We need to play faster, blah, blah, blah.’ I get it,” McDowell said Saturday at the Zurich Classic. “I hear where Edoardo is coming from, but he is, what shall we say, flogging a dead horse?
“It’s not a dead horse, but it’s pretty dead. What do you want to do? We can’t get around there much quicker. Is 20 minutes going to change his life? Listen, I like Edoardo, nice kid, but I think he’s just frustrated.”
McDowell pointed out that he feels like the pace-of-play policy on the European Tour is more stringent than the PGA Tour’s policy, though he said even that is “getting tougher and tougher.”
“Listen, golf courses are long, golf courses are hard, we’re playing for a lot of money, it’s a big business, it is what it is,” McDowell said. “There’s just no way to speed the game up really. You can try these small percentiles, but at the end of the day it’s very hard to get around a 7,600-yard golf course with tucked pins with a three-ball in less than 4:45, 5 hours. You can’t do it.”
As for Molinari sharing an in-house document with the world and in turn calling out his fellow players, McDowell doesn’t have a major issue with Molinari’s actions. McDowell is not on the list, which includes Tiger Woods and Patrick Reed along with three players – Louis Oosthuizen, Erik Van Rooyen and Adrian Otaegui – who each received $3,000 fines.
But the Northern Irishman did disclose that he’s received some bad times on the PGA Tour this season.
“It should be public, you know, name and shame,” McDowell said. “I’m willing to admit I’ve been timed five times so far this year, been put on the clock five times, which is halfway to my 10, which is halfway to a $25,000 fine. I’m aware, but you get in the wrong group on the wrong week and you’re gonna get timed. Henrik Stenson is on six times [according to the list]. Is Henrik a slow player? No, it’s just one of those things.
“I hear Edoardo. We all hear him. We all wish we could play a little faster to attract more people to the sport. We’re trying.”