Colin Montgomerie slams 'ridiculous' slow play in WGC Match Play

Colin Montgomerie has called for slow play to be penalised after describing the pace as “ridiculous” in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in Texas.

Scottie Scheffler fist bumps Matt Kuchar after winning their match to make the final of the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club in Texas. Picture: Steve Dykes/Getty Images.

The eight-time European No 1 said the use of green reading books and players meticulously lining up lines on the ball before hitting a putt was “really annoying me”.

Montgomerie took to Twitter to air his views after the pace of play at Austin Country Club had been criticised on air by Sky Sports Golf commentator Ewen Murray.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The second of the two last-four matches in the $10.5 million event involving American duo Scottie Scheffler and Matt Kuchar took four hours and eight minutes.

Even allowing for a troublesome wind, Montgomerie expressed his disgust about how long players were taking in two separate social media posts.

“100% agree,” he said on hearing fellow Scot Murray’s comments. “Pace of play is ridiculous. No one in front of them. Green reading books, lining up the lines on the ball. Really annoying me. And matchplay is the fastest form of golf. Something has to be done #slowplay.”

He later added in response to a TV image of both players and their caddies consulting their yardage books, “All four have their yardage books out.

“They’ve played the hole with practice nine times this week. Stood there for two minutes doing nothing! Slow play needs to be penalised.”

Montgomerie, one of the quickest players in the game, has regularly called for action to be taken against the game’s slow coaches.

In 2019, he backed four-time major winner Brooks Koepka for speaking out about the problem after playing with JB Holmes in the final round of The Open at Royal Portrush.

"We all should play quicker, and I think it really is hurting the game," said Montgomerie. "We are told that your playing partner doesn't affect you, or shouldn't affect you because it's your own ball and you only control your own ball.

“But, at the same time it threw him [Koepka]. He did well to recover and finish fourth but it threw him. It's interesting it even throws the best players.

"It's killing our game and the penalties are not severe enough, the deterrent should be a lot more severe than it is."

A message from the Editor:

Get a year of unlimited access to all of The Scotsman's sport coverage without the need for a full subscription. Expert analysis, exclusive interviews, live blogs, and 70 per cent fewer ads on Scotsman.com - all for less than £1 a week. Subscribe to us today https://www.scotsman.com/subscriptions/sports