US Amateur champ hits back at slow play critics: "What can you expect?"

Sam Bennett, the US Amateur champion, has hit back at his hater following savage criticism about his pace of play at Ridgewood Country Club.

Ben Smith's picture
Thu, 25 Aug 2022
US Amateur champ hits back at slow play critics: "What can you expect?"

U.S. Amateur champion Sam Bennett didn't only grab spots in three of the four majors next year with his stunning victory at Ridgewood Country Club.

Related: PGA Tour pro waggles club for 40 seconds before pulling trigger

The young American grabbed the attention of golf fans on social media. For entirely the wrong reasons. Slow play, allegedly. 

Bennett won the tournament in dramatic fashion with a 1UP victory over Ben Carr on the very last hole. Their 36th of the day.

As you can imagine, it took a long time to get to that point. It is more than understandable. An awful lot was on the line. But that didn't stop tournament watchers on social raging at Bennett's deliberate pace of play.

To some, it was simply unforgivable! 

You can judge for yourself:

Bennett, 22, recently appeared on Golf Digest's The Loop podcast where he addressed his critics. 

In plain and simple terms, he has anxiety and it's always been this way. 

"I got a bunch of heat," he told the podcast. "I just want to tell those people: I already have anxiety. It's pretty bad.

"Having anxiety and then getting over a golf ball with all these thoughts in your head, and then put me in that moment at the U.S. Am with the whole golf world watching. I mean, what can you expect?

"It's always been like that. I don't pull the trigger until I'm ready. I mean, it's not a certain amount of looks, it's just kinda whenever I'm ready.”

He added: "It doesn't matter what it looks like. It matters what score you make on the hole, that's it. 

"It's called golf, not golf swing. There's hate everywhere."

Bennett did go on to say that perhaps some of his pre-shot routine was exacerbated a tad by playing on the big stage. 

Not that he seems to worry about it! 

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