The eye test would seem to suggest that Bryson DeChambeau is one of the slowest players on the PGA Tour. Last month at the Northern Trust, two videos surfaced showing the 26-year-old taking painfully long to execute relatively routine shots.
DeChambeau's fellow PGA Tour players seem to think DeChambeau is one of the slowest players on the PGA Tour. Golf's resident alpha male Brooks Koepka called his pace of play "embarrassing," and golf's resident comedian Eddie Pepperell called DeChambeau an "unaffected single minded twit."
But, if DeChambeau is to be believed, the data tells a different story.
After he fired a second-round 64 to take the halfway lead at the Safeway Open, DeChambeau defended himself against repeated accusations of slow play.
“There’s data out there now that shows that I am not the slowest player at all by any means,” he said. He was then asked what data he's referring to.
“Well, the PGA Tour has it. I’ve seen it. I don’t know if I can disclose any of it. I’m not going to, unfortunately, but I’m definitely not in the top 10 percent. I’m not close to that. That’s from ShotLink data, we have that. So I can say that, I know I can say that without a shadow of a doubt.”
On one hand, the PGA Tour did announce that it would leverage ShotLink data to provide players with more information on their pace of play, so there's no real reason to doubt DeChambeau's suggestions ... except, of course, the fact that he stopped short of actually referring to any statistics or, you know, sharing the data.
Slow play has emerged as a major topic of discussion this year throughout professional golf. Shortly after the Northern Trust, the European Tour announced an aggressive four-point plan to speed up play. The PGA Tour then released its own plan, which stopped short of specifics beyond saying it would use its ShotLink data to analyze the problem.
The PGA Tour has handed out just one slow-play penalty over the past 24 years.