JERSEY CITY (New Jersey) • Slow play was the topic, but Bryson DeChambeau wasted no time getting started.
He stepped atop the interview platform on Saturday night at the Liberty National Golf Club here and, before a question could be asked, said: "I'll introduce this and talk about it."
What followed was an impassioned 16-minute character defence.
DeChambeau, 25, hit back after critics took to social media to complain about his painfully slow pace of play, with fellow PGA Tour players among those weighing in after two viral videos showed the American taking more than two minutes to make an eight-foot putt and to complete a 70-yard approach shot at the Northern Trust tournament on Friday.
"When people start talking to me about slow play and how I'm killing the game, I'm doing this and that to the game, that is complete and utter you-know-what. It's not fair," he said after shooting a third-round 71 that left him eight shots off American Patrick Reed, who carded a four-under 71 for a one-shot lead.
The world No. 8, known for an idiosyncratic approach that includes using clubs all cut to the same length and a mathematical approach to reading greens, added that he felt he was "somehow being singled out" despite occasionally taking more than his allotted 40 seconds to play.
Slow players do this to their playing partners, making the game less enjoyable.
EDDIE PEPPERELL, English golfer, complaining about Bryson DeChambeau's (above) slow pace of play.
"It's really kind of unfortunate the way it's perceived because there's a lot of other guys that take a lot of time," DeChambeau said.
However, one needed only to read the tweets of England's Eddie Pepperell and others to gauge which way the winds inside the golfing bubble were blowing.
"Slow players do this to their playing partners, making the game less enjoyable," the world No. 40, who was not part of the field here, tweeted. "Problem is the unaffected single-minded twit in this instance doesn't care for others."
Ian Poulter tweeted "there are a few players that continually disrespect their fellow pros and continue to break the rules without a conscience", while fellow Englishman Luke Donald called on the PGA Tour to step in. "Slow play in golf isn't anything new - but nowadays, with social media, TV etc it's just being exposed to a new level. This seems like the perfect time to do something about it! C'mon people it's 2019, let's figure this out!" he tweeted.
Four-time Major winner Brooks Koepka also claimed "it has just got out of hand". But DeChambeau said that none of his Twitter critics had spoken to him personally.
"When you start attacking people on Twitter, it's like, come on, dude. Let's have some more balls to come and speak to my face about that."
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, NY TIMES