Some players balk at pace of play over first two rounds of Masters
It was more of the same in Friday’s second round of the Masters Tournament, as rounds stretched past the five-hour mark.
Co-leaders Adam Scott, Jason Day, Brooks Koepka and Francesco Molinari all took more than five hours to play their rounds. Louis Oosthuizen, the other co-leader, finished in four hours, 58 minutes.
For Scott and Day, it was 5:09; it was 5:06 for Koepka and 5:04 for Molinari.
Photos: 2019 Masters Round 2
Oosthuizen shot 66, Day and Molinari shot 67s and Koepka had 71 to share the lead at 7-under 137.
As was the case Thursday, there were waits on the tees and fairways on some of the par-5s and par-3s as players waited for the greens to clear.
It didn’t take long for a group to be put on the clock because they were behind their appointed pace of play. Players receive a bad time when they take more than 40 seconds to hit a shot after it’s their turn. Two bad times bring about a one-shot penalty, which has happened only once in Masters history.
The 9:14 a.m. group, the fifth of the day, which consisted of Bernhard Langer, Alvaro Ortiz and Matt Wallace, were told to pick up the pace on the third hole.
Langer, who shot 72 to easily make the cut, was not happy about it.
“They came over on the third hole and they told us we’re 10 minutes behind. And I’m saying, ‘Yeah, we waited eight minutes on the tee shot on 2 and then four minutes on the second shot on 2. That’s 12 minutes, so no wonder we’re 10 minutes behind, right?'" Langer said. "I don’t know where they’re getting their stuff from. Comes over and says, ‘You’re 10 minutes behind time.’ Is that my fault? We can’t play any faster. You want me to hit it over their heads? You would think they would have more common sense.”
The wait was so long on the 15th hole on Thursday that Ortiz decided to visit with the gallery.
“We were waiting and there was shade on the left side of the tee box and I sat down there. I asked the crowd, ‘Hey, can I join you guys?’ because it was the only shade on that tee box," Ortiz said. "Then Bernhard came over and started interacting with the fans. I think they love the man. We shared some laughs there.”
Koepka is one of the most vocal critics on slow play. He hasn’t done it this week, but he told SiriusXM in February about one way he tries to combat slowpokes in his group.
“This is probably bad to say, but I’ve kind of got a different approach. I try to slow us down, which is part of the problem," he said. "Some of these guys are so slow, I’ll take my sweet time getting to the ball. I don’t have to go to the bathroom (but) I just go to the restroom and just kind of chill in there for five minutes, so we get on the clock, and now we’re playing at my pace. It’s probably not the right thing, but it is what I do.”
Koepka said his front nine Thursday took nearly three hours, “which isn’t that good,” he said sarcastically.