Slow play plaguing Pebble, U.S. Open … and it’s only Wednesday
But the course is starting to gain acclaim for something else this week: slow play. We’re not talking about slow play during a tournament round, but rather during the practice rounds leading up to Thursday’s opening round at the famed Monterey Peninsula course.
Tiger Woods spoke of the trouble he had getting in a full round yesterday. “It was long and slow,” Woods said after he cut Tuesday’s practice round due to slow play. “It was just going to be very slow on the back nine.”
Wood wasn’t the only one complaining about the pileup on the course. Geoff Ogilvy, another former U.S. Open winner, decided to practice on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday of last week to beat the crowds on the course.
As Geoff Shackelford noted, this is the type of problem the USGA needs to nip in the bud before it ends up becoming a habitual problem at the event.
It not only takes away from the practice round paying fans when star players are not around, but this also impacts the prior week’s field.
Therein lies another problem: impacting the prior week’s field. While most of the big names wouldn’t dare play the week before the U.S. Open — considered by almost everyone to be the most grueling test on the golf calendar — there are some who might consider taking the week to get in a decent practice schedule before the second major of the year.
It seems logical if you’re going to spend most of your time standing around, watching guys hit multiple shots and putts. You can’t expect the players to sit out there for too long. If anything, the committee should be happy this problem is occurring at a tournament site where the weather is mild.
Just imagine having this problem in a place where the weather was scorching, like Tulsa. I’m pretty sure more players would be voicing their displeasure with this growing trend.