The slow play issue once again cast a long shadow during the Valero Texas Open last weekend.
Andrew Loupe, whose strong finish to the 2013 Web.com season earned him a PGA Tour card for 2014, started pumping the breaks almost as quickly as he rose into contention. Loupe's pre-shot routine reached up to 1:15 seconds on Sunday. He was eventually put on the clock by a rules official, but even then, his routine lasted more than 50 seconds, earning him an official warning.
Those were extremes, but here's a clip of Loupe's normal pre-shot routine, from after the tee is in the ground until he pulls the trigger, which runs 39 seconds.
Relative to the rest of the tour, is 39 seconds *really *that slow? Even 1:15 seconds; how big a deal is that?
We decided to find out by timing video footage of random players' pre-shot routines on drives. The timer started when players were done teeing up the ball, and ended right before they started their swing. Each name on the list had at least two pre-shot routines timed, which were averaged out to the numbers listed. (The only numbers that weren't averaged were those of Na, Furyk, Loupe and Scott from the four specified events -- we included those just for interest.)
Here's how it shook out:
Bill Haas: 13 secondsAngel Cabrera: 14 secondsRickie Fowler: 15 secondsSteve Stricker: 19 secondsKevin Na: 19 secondsAdam Scott 20 (2013 Masters Playoff)Phil Mickelson: 21 secondsDustin Johnson: 21 secondsTiger Woods: 22 secondsRory McIlroy: 22 secondsAdam Scott 23 secondsJason Dufner: 26 secondsMatt Kuchar: 29 secondsJim Furyk: 31 secondsJustin Rose: 33 seconds> __Andrew Loupe: 39 seconds__Jum Furyk: 57 seconds (2013 PGA Championship)Kevin Na: 1:10 seconds (2011 Players Championship)> Andrew Loupe: 1.15 seconds (2014 Valero Texas Open)
As you can see, Loupe's 0.39 second routine, relative to the other players on the list, is substantially slower than average. And with that routine seemingly slowing down even more under pressure, it's easy to see people getting increasingly annoyed. Johnny Miller seemed to put it best: