Bryson DeChambeau took plenty of criticism on Twitter and elsewhere Saturday regarding videos showing his glacial pace in certain spots during Round 2 of the Liberty National.
Several fellow Tour players, including Eddie Pepperell, called DeChambeau out for his slow play.
This isn’t a new issue – DeChambeau has long been considered one of the slowest pros on Tour. But, as he described in a lengthy media session Saturday, he doesn’t think he has a problem. He thinks other players do.
“A lot of it’s the caddies. A lot of it’s the other players,” DeChambeau said. “They don’t care about walking fast. I play a different way out there. I take my 40 seconds that’s allotted, sometimes over, absolutely. Totally agree. It’s maybe 5 percent of the time. But I’ll tell you that it’s really kind of unfortunate the way it’s perceived because there’s a lot of other guys that take a lot of time. They don’t talk about this matter and for me personally, it is an attack and it is something that is not me whatsoever. People don’t realize the harm they are doing to the individuals.”
DeChambeau claimed he takes 30 seconds on average to hit a shot and that he often has to wait for other players because he walks quickly. He said the way to fix slow play is by timing how long it takes players to walk between shots on a given hole.
He also said he thinks players who tweeted criticism were out of line.
“Look, they are great individuals. I’m not going to say anything bad about them,” DeChambeau said. “My competitors here on Tour, they have all been nice to me and I don’t have any issues with any of them. We are all trying to do our best to play well and make our livelihoods and win tournaments, right. But when you start personally attacking people on Twitter, it’s like, come on, dude. Let’s have some more, I was going to say something else, but let’s have some more balls to comeuppance and speak to me to my face about that.”
DeChambeau framed himself as the victim in this whole situation, railing against fans who have no idea what they’re talking about.
“There’s certainly other people that have talked about slow play and they play a different game,” DeChambeau said. “I’d be happy to play a round with them to show them how long I take. There’s times that absolutely it does take me a little bit longer. But if you watch me, if you seriously do your due diligence and watch me tee shot to tee shot, I’m the first guy up to the ball. And the problem with that, too, think about this, guys. Let’s say if I hit a shot past a guy that’s in the fairway as well. I’m maybe 10 yards ahead. I can’t go walk in front of him. That’s kind of not good etiquette, right?
“The other thing is I’m waiting probably 15-20 more seconds for them to get there. That’s a huge issue, too. So you add on 20 seconds there, you add on me taking 10 more seconds because they hit their shot, and then I go get my numbers, 10 more seconds to do that. You’ve got 30 seconds that’s already gone.”
While defending himself against critics, the five-time PGA Tour winner said normally on the course, he plays a round in 2 1/2 hours. And then he said something that sounds bizarre for a professional golfer.
“I hate playing golf. I absolutely hate it,” he said. “I love competition. It’s the most fun thing in the world for me, but when people start talking to me about slow play and how I’m killing the game, I’m doing this and that to the game, that is complete and utter you-know-what. That’s not fair.”
Whether he’s responsible or not, it doesn’t sound like DeChambeau plans to speed up any time soon.