Slow play at BMW PGA Championship? This tour pro has a theory...

English tour pro Eddie Pepperell has offered some thoughts on the pace of play issue at the 2023 BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

Ben Smith's picture
Sun, 17 Sep 2023
Slow play at BMW PGA Championship? This tour pro has a theory...

Eddie Pepperell has a theory about the slow play during the BMW PGA Championship

Although the English tour pro admitted the pace of play was 'painfully' slow over the first two days at Wentworth, all is not what it seems. 

Pepperell got involved in a discussion on X after former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen asked what the solution was. 

Groups off three players were taking more than five and a half hours to get round the West Course on Thursday. 

Rory McIlroy later described the chaotic scenes of multiple groups waiting on tee boxes as a 's---show' as he played in near darkness.

"I've never remembered having that many players on 17 and 18," McIlroy said of the moment. 

Pepperell was in the field and despite a spirited and gutsy display on Friday afternoon (playing the back nine in 6-under) he missed the cut by one. 

"It was painfully slow KP," Pepperell wrote.  

He added:

"But the big hold up was generally the fourth tee which is the case every year due to the nature of the hole (as you know). And even if each player played 'quickly' you likely still aren't getting around that place in under five hours with that rough/difficulty."

The 'as you know' is a reference to the fact that Pietersen regularly takes part in the annual pro-am. 

Former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley went on a rant on Sky Sports during the early stages of the tournament. 

He described the pace of play as 'disgraceful' and questioned why players weren't hitting provisional shots. 

Pepperell claimed players most definitely were. At times, Pepperell wrote, balls were 'spotted' but it turned out they were out of bounds. 

At this point another tour pro, Mike Lorenz-Vera, chimed in with a proposal. Less players in the field, perhaps? 

Lorenzo-Vera has been one of the most vocal players in the battle against slow play. 

At times, he has posted on X during tournament rounds. He has claimed there are some players on the tournament committee who are slow. 

Hence why the problem isn't being solved, he said, and the battle against slow play is 'fake'. 

"That's certainly something that would speed up play and if you want to propose that to the Tour go ahead," Pepperell wrote. 

"Am sure the members would rather have the opportunity to play in five hours and 30 minutes than not play at all however." 

Pepperell also claimed on X he knows players have been routinely fined by the tour for slow play. 

He would not divulge who those players are plus the tour would never make that list of names public. The fines have been hefty, he wrote. 

It was put to Pepperell that players need to be docked shots, as Brooks Koepka suggested earlier in the year. 

Maybe that is the solution?! 

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