Brooks Koepka reveals there was a *minor* issue with pace of play at The Open

Brooks Koepka has revealed there was a minor issue with pace of play during the first round of the 2023 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool. 

Ben Smith's picture
Fri, 21 Jul 2023
Brooks Koepka reveals there was a *minor* issue with pace of play at The Open

Eyebrows were raised when Brooks Koepka was paired with Patrick Cantlay for the first two rounds of the 2023 Open Championship. 

That is because, memorably, Koepka was playing behind Cantlay during the final round of the 2023 Masters at Augusta National. 

After coming up short to Jon Rahm, Koepka complained the group in front was 'brutally slow'. 

So slow, in fact, that Rahm had time for several bathroom breaks before he slipped on a green jacket for the very first time. 

For his part, Cantlay defended himself against the flack, saying that he too was kept waiting on several shots. Viktor Hovland might disagree. 

Koepka played his first round in 1-under par at Royal Liverpool. Cantlay posted the same score. 

So how did the pair get on with pace of play? Well, turns out that there was an issue. But with the group in front as they were put on the clock.

Koepka claimed the group in front, KH Lee, Davis Riley, Taiga Semikawa, were informed they were going too slowly through nine holes. 

"We were on 8," Koepka said. "I think they got put on the clock."

"If you really wanted to make guys play faster, you would put the tees up and you would put easier hole locations and the greens would roll at 10 if you really wanted it to, and you hope it never blew more than 10 miles an hour. When you get really tricky days and the greens are really fast and the hole locations are on lots of slope, it’s going to take a longer time to play." Patrick Cantlay on slow play criticism

"Honestly, I would start stroking guys. If you are going to take that long, you have to get stroked. There are certain circumstances where the wind switches, something like that, it's understandable, but taking a while is, I just think, unnecessary." - Brooks Koepka on his solution to slow play

The group in front of Koepka and Cantlay did get a wiggle on. Still, Koepka wasn't too happy with his front nine, describing them as sloppy. 

Much like Rory McIlroy, he rallied to post a decent score to keep himself in contention. 

He was asked by one journalist if he expected to see better scores on day one, given that it 'wasn't that windy'. 

Then Koepka offered a response that is typical of the American: "You go out there then," he said with a smile. "It's windier than you think."

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