ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Brooks Koepka has the solution for the PGA Tour’s pace-of-play problem.
“I would start stroking guys,” he said on Wednesday during his pre-tournament press conference ahead of the 105th PGA Championship at Oak Hill. “If you are going to take that long, you have to get stroked.”
As in penalty strokes. Hit’em where it hurts most is his thinking.
“There’s a lot of guys out here that take their time. I think it is a problem,” Koepka said. “Technically in the rule book it says you have 40 seconds to hit your shot. I think that’s what it is. If you are taking over, technically you’re breaking the rules, right?”
The Tour’s pace of play has been a hot-button topic this season. Koepka, who played in the final pairing with Jon Rahm, complained about slow play at the Masters, and waiting repeatedly behind Patrick Cantlay and Viktor Hovland.
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“Yeah, the group in front of us was brutally slow. Jon went to the bathroom like seven times during the round, and we were still waiting,” Koepka said.
In their defense, Cantlay and Hovland waited much of the day, too, and were never put on the clock, but the problem persists with little effort to remedy the problem.
In an effort to create a quicker pace of play, Major League Baseball established a 30-second timer between batters this year. Between pitches, a 15-second timer will be in place with the bases empty and a 20-second timer with runners on base. It has made a significant difference. Koepka noted that the DP World Tour previously held a tournament with a shot clock, but it didn’t catch on.
“I know if you follow guys around with a stopwatch this week, there will be plenty of guys that are over time and stuff like that, but I can’t remember the last time anybody was stroked. I remember the little kid at Augusta (14-year-old Guan Tianlang of China). I don’t know if anybody has been stroked since. That’s kind of the most recent one I can think of. (Jon Catlin was penalized at the 2021 PGA Championship). There are some guys that probably definitely could be stroked.”
Under the Tour’s current pace of play regulations, a player’s group would have to be warned, then put on the clock, then get two bad times in the same tournament before getting docked for any stroke penalty. Speaking to Golf Digest’s Shane Ryan recently, Gary Young, the PGA Tour’s Senior Vice President of Rules and Competitions,…
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