I love it, says Bryson DeChambeau of European Tour's plan to crack down on slow play

Bryson DeChambeau of United States speaks to the media ahead of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. Picture: Getty
Bryson DeChambeau of United States speaks to the media ahead of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. Picture: Getty
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Notorious slow coach Bryson DeChambeau has welcomed steps by the European Tour to speed up playing, saying of a new four-point plan of attack being introduced this week: "I love it!"

Being implemented for the first time in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, the new regulations include a key revision to the proposals announced by the circuit's chief executive, Keith Pelley, in August.

Players will be now be given an immediate one shot penalty for two ‘bad times’ in a tournament rather than for two ‘bad times’ within a round. It means additional powers for referees to target slower players starting at this week’s Rolex Series event at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.

A reduction in the time allowance for ‘in-position players’ to play shots also comes into force this week, alongside increased fines for players who are regularly placed ‘on the clock’ throughout the season.

European Tour players have also been required to undertake an education programme since the four-point plan was announced last year.

"I love it," DeChambeau, who is set to defend his Omega Dubai Desert Classic title next week, told The Scotsman in reply to being asked about the circuit's plan to tackle slow play.

"Absolutely," he added to being asked if the revision was a good thing. "Look, I don't want to be out there for six hours, nor does anybody, right.

"And there's numerous times out there, more than not, I'm waiting, our group is waiting for people to go, and so I certainly don't want to be waiting on players.
"It's going to hurt my momentum. Every time it happens, I feel like I get cold. I don't want that to happen to people behind me or in front of me. There's a lot of things that happen during the

course of a golf round. People don't just hit in the middle of the fairway or on the green all the time. You have situations that occur."

With that in mind, a player can call a “time extension” for any stroke once in a round. This will add 40 seconds to the allowance for the stroke in question.

"They have done that beautifully," said DeChambeau. "Having the, 'hey, can I get 40 more seconds because this is a weird shot, the wind came up, or something happened', I think that's great. I think what they did there is awesome."

DeChambeau found himself at the centre of a slow play storm on the PGA Tour last year when a video went viral showing him taking more than two minutes to hit an eight-foot putt in the Northern Trust event.

Referring to that incident, he said: "I was playing under the rules and there was no rhyme or reason to be called out, other than the fact that it looked like it was a really, really long time that it took, and it was, absolutely. I'm not saying it wasn't.

"But I was playing under the rules at that point in time, and there's no reason or why I should have been given so much heat, considering other things that had occurred that day and previous days of other people that I played with and other things that occurred.

"It's just .01 per cent of the time that that happens on Tour, which it happens literally with everybody out there. They just caught it on camera at that specific moment in time.

"You know there, was no time assessed, there was nothing that occurred and I played under the rules. To be called out like that was kind of weird, but it is what it is and I take it and I understand it.

"All I'm doing is my absolute best to be better, and that's what I look forward to this year as I try be a new me, a new person, and (go about things in) a way that's going to represent all golf in general in a positive way to help grow the game.

"That's what I've always been about is trying to shine a light on the game of golf and not push people away, with developing the one-length irons, having a new way of swinging the golf club and doing all these different things that look weird, but have been a massive benefit to the game, that's what I'm about. So when considering change like that (the European Tour four-point plan), I welcome it."