Bryson DeChambeau’s title defense at the Memorial Tournament got off to a frustrating start.
Posting a 2-over par 74 at Muirfield Village, DeChambeau ranted against the pace of play enforcement that followed his group of Tiger Woods and Justin Rose, calling the bad times he received “unfair.”
DeChambeau, Woods and Rose were notified following the completion of their ninth hole of the day, the 18th hole at Muirfield Village, that they were being monitored for slow play. DeChambeau was then given another bad time by rules official Brad Fabel after weighing his options for his second shot on the par-5 5th hole.
PGA Tour regulations state the first player in the group to play their shot is given 50 seconds with subsequent members getting 40 seconds to do so.
“He came up to me and told me I had a bad time,” DeChambeau explained to GolfChannel.com’s Will Gray. “And I was like, ‘do you realize I was deciding between laying up and going for it? And we’ve had struggles the past three holes in a row, hazards and making bogeys and all that. Was that not factored in?’
“‘Well, it’s just 40 seconds, it is what it is,’ (Fabel said). Well, I don’t agree with that.”
Bryson DeChambeau has a history of slow play, but after receiving a bad time during Thursday’s opening round, he feels it’s unjustified.
— Golf Central (@GolfCentral) May 30, 2019
DeChambeau continued his rant, saying that given the number of calculations and amount of variables he weighs before every shot put him at a disadvantage compared to other less analytical players.
“It’s a bit unfair when you’ve got someone that’s behind you, let’s say, and they’re slower, but they’re quicker through their process. I get up there in the middle of the fairway and I have to wait for them to go, and then I have only my 40 seconds, which is what I’m trying to do everything under,” he said. “People call me slow. I call myself quick with the stuff I do.
“A lot of guys out here, they just see it and they hit it. And for me, I don’t want to do that because I feel like there are other variables I get hurt on.”
Put another way, DeChambeau stated that he believed the time that should be enforced is the walking between shots, not the time over the ball.
“The time to hurry is in between shots, it’s not over the shot,” he said. “It’s timing how people walk. You have to add that to the equation. If you’ve got somebody walking slow and they get up to the shot and take their 20 seconds, what’s the aggregate time for them to hit that shot in between shots? That’s what really matters. It’s not the shot at hand.”
DeChambeau said that he has tried to join the Player Advisory Council, a group of players who are tasked with representing the membership and working with the Tour to fix issues, each of the last three years, but he hasn’t received the required votes to earn a spot on the PAC.
Woods, who shot a 2-under par 70, gave his take on the position his group was in, saying there were a series of factors that caused their group to fall behind the threesome of Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, who was a hole ahead of them most of the back nine.
“It’s one of those things where it’s a group effort to try to get back in position,” Woods said. “The group ahead of us: JT doesn’t take a lot of time, Rory plays quick, and Jordan was 7-under through 13 holes. So they’re obviously playing fast, and we were obviously not.”