'A Disgrace' And 'Appalling' - Matt Fitzpatrick Hits Out At Slow Play

The US Open champion has some strong views on slow play but admits that nothing will be done about it

Matt Fitzpatrick waits to hit a putt
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Slow play is back in the golf news cycle following The Masters where two balls on the final day took nearly five hours to complete their rounds.

Brooks Koepka, playing in the final twosome, called the group ahead "brutally slow" after his round and Patrick Cantlay has come under the spotlight for his pace of play. The American was in the group ahead of Koepka at Augusta and playing partner Viktor Hovland was seen playing shots with Cantlay still behind him in what looked like a sign that he was indeed holding up play.

Cantlay defended the criticism ahead of last week's RBC Heritage, though, saying that he was waiting on the group ahead numerous times throughout the round. “Yeah, I mean, we finished the first hole, and the group in front of us was on the second tee when we walked up to the second tee, and we waited all day on pretty much every shot," he said. "We waited in 15 fairway, we waited in 18 fairway. I imagine it was slow for everyone.”

Cantlay was again criticised at the RBC Heritage, where he played in the final group with Matt Fitzpatrick and Jordan Spieth. Fitzpatrick, speaking to Sky Sports News, said that pace of play on tour is "a disgrace" and "appalling" but also admitted that nothing will be done about it.

"For me the times need to be changed," the Englishman said. "I think that times to need to be much less and then that way, you know, when you're not within those times, then you could be penalized and properly punished for being slow.

"I think they give us way too much leeway to get round. If you're in a three ball in my opinion you should be round in four hours, four-and-a-half absolute maximum, it's a disgrace to get anywhere near that. You're talking five-fifteen, five-and-a-half at some venues and it's truly appalling.

"The problem is though, you know this conversation has gone on for years and years and years and no one's ever done anything. So I feel like it's almost a waste of time talking about it every time.

"I've got my opinions, they're probably strong opinions but you know, PGA Tour, DP World Tour, no one's going to do anything about it. It's just the way it's going to be"

Fitzpatrick plays with his younger brother Alex in this week's Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

He defeated Jordan Spieth in a playoff at Harbour Town last week to win his second PGA Tour title and move up to a career-high of 8th in the world.

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays off of a six handicap. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV