For the most part, Bryson DeChambeau's unique methods to playing golf have been praised—and rightly so. The combination of his single-length irons, one-plane swing, and calculating things like air density on the course have brought him to No. 5 (and rising) in the Official World Golf Rankings. However, since his latest win, a seven-shot drubbing in Dubai last week, there have been some grumblings about his deliberate approach on the course.
It began after the European Tour shared a video of DeChambeau having a lengthy discussion with his caddie on a fairly straightforward shot during the final round in Dubai. Although the clip was meant to shine a positive light on Bryson's process, 1999 British Open champ Paul Lawrie pointed out that DeChambeau wasn't hit with a slow-play penalty despite taking at least one minute and 14 seconds to play his shot (Under the rules of golf, the first golfer to his ball, which DeChambeau was in this case, has 40 seconds to hit a shot). A couple days later, Brooks Koepka, while not naming his fellow American specifically, sounded off on the game's slow play problem.
“I just don’t understand how it takes a minute and 20 seconds, a minute and 15 to hit a golf ball; it’s not that hard,” Koepka said on the Golf Monthly Podcast, before adding, "Guys are already so slow it’s kind of embarrassing. I just don’t get why you enforce some things and don’t enforce others.”
And now another European Tour winner has sounded off. During Thursday's first round of the Saudi International, Simon Khan tweeted the following:
As you can see, this issue is especially bothersome to Khan because he has literally paid a price for slow play in the past. He was fined £8,000 after the first round of the 2005 Irish Open for his third bad time of the year. So you can understand why he'd be upset to see other players get away with slow play, and in Bryson's case, his deliberate pace has almost been romanticized.
This also isn't the first time tour pros have indicated a double standard when it comes to stars and slow play. Last year, Francesco Molinari and Tyrrell Hatton went on rants about this after World Golf Championships with Hatton saying Phil Mickelson got preferential treatment from PGA Tour rules officials during his win in Mexico.
Of course, it's not just DeChambeau who has avoided slow-play penalties. The last one assessed on an individual player in a PGA Tour event (there was one assessed on the team of Miguel Angel Carballo and Brian Campbell at the 2017 Zurich Classic) was Glen Day at the 1995 (Yes, 1995) Honda Classic.
With a pair of 68s, DeChambeau is tied for 12th place in Saudi Arabia, seven shots behind 36-hole leader Dustin Johnson.