McDowell Jokes The Open Should Be Shotgun Start Amid Slow Play

During the third round's play at The Open, McDowell tweeted that the 'pace of play might have improved with a shotgun start'

McDowell stares on
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Open Championship has been fantastic to watch, with the world's elite putting on an exhibition over the Old Course. However, despite the big names and unbelievable golf, the topic of slow play has been issue, with some rounds taking over six hours to complete.

Following the slow play, one player has taken to Twitter to voice their comments with LIV Golf player, Graeme McDowell, releasing a tweet that has caused a bit of controversy.

Midway through the third round on Saturday, the former US Open winner tweeted: "Quality viewing @TheOpen. The unpredictability of The Old Course from bounces to weather is unlike anything in golf. Can’t turn it off. Thinking pace of play might have improved with a shotgun start? What you guys think?"

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One of the main aspects of LIV Golf, which McDowell is part of, is the shotgun start aspect, with the 48 competitors teeing off on different holes, but at the same time. This is intended to help the pace of play and make sure that all players finish at roughly the same time.

On Thursday and Friday, groups were taking around six hours to complete their rounds, as many individuals took to social media to voice their disgust at the time people were taking.

Although it is unclear as to whether the tweet from McDowell was made to be a talking point or a dig at the traditional 72 hole layout, it certainly didn't go down well with users of the social platform, with one user commenting "do whatever you want in your own games but do not, whatever you do, mess with the Open or the masters. Purest form of competition golf in my opinion."

Perks of winning The Open

At the second LIV Golf event in Portland, McDowell revealed that he regretted publicly defending his decision to resign from the PGA Tour and join the controversial Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series following extensive public backlash. 

Speaking at Adare Manor a few weeks ago, he told BBC NI: "I’m having my moral integrity attacked all the time when, at the end of the day, all I’m trying to do is play golf. I’m trying to make a business decision for me and my family. And, you know, I’ve paid my dues in this game over the last 20 years, I’ve tried to carry myself the right way.

“The tenuous links to what the Saudi regime have done, the horrible things they have done, they’re trying to link this to golf and playing professional golf. It’s very difficult when you’re in a situation where you’re literally being asked questions that there are no right answers to and you’re just being torn apart for it.”

Matt Cradock
Matt Cradock

Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.