Rory McIlroy delivered a volley at slow play in golf after being “frustrated” as he watched last week’s Solheim Cup at Gleneagles, urging officials to follow the lead of their tennis counterparts in the recent US Open final.
In the opening game of the men’s title decider at Flushing Meadows in New York, Rafa Nadal was hit with a time violation as he was trying to save a break point before he went on to beat Daniil Medvedev.
McIlroy referred to that punishment as he hit out over slow play in golf in his pre-event press conference for the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, where, in the countdown to a new four-point plan being introduced at the start of next season on the European Tour, a pace-of-play system is being trialed this week.
“I think it’s a start,” said the world No 2 of a GPS tracking devices being used to monitor each group’s position on the course, with the data to be displayed on five tees to inform players where they stand in relation to the groups around them.
“Look, it’s not a great thing for our game. I don’t want to single out particular people, but I watched a lot of the Solheim Cup at the weekend, and it was really slow. As much as you want to sit there and watch and support the European girls, it’s just hard not to get frustrated with it. If I’m a fan – and I am a fan of golf – I want the best for the game. It’s hard because there’s different scenarios where you have to take your time. It was tough conditions up there. It was windy. It was tough.
“But something has to be done, and, if you look at the US Open final, Rafa got a time clock violation on a really big serve at the end of the final of the US Open, so if they can do it then, there’s no reason why we can’t do it in our tournaments, either. So it’s just a matter of enforcing it and being consistent with it.”
Consistent golf is what McIlroy is aiming to produce over the next few weeks as he bids to equal his career-best season. With The Players Championship, Canadian Open and Tour Championship already in the bag this year, he said: “The most I’ve ever won in a season is five [in 2012]. I’d love to at least equal that and try to better that. I feel like I’m playing well enough.”