Golf meet common sense, again. In all the chatter of slow play this year and the new war on it there was likely a new first as Graeme McDowell fell foul of it in Saudi Arabia after playing the good guy and speaking with Sky’s on-course interviewer.
The incident took place at the 470-yard 6th, McDowell’s 15th having started at the 10th, and on the back of successive birdies.
“I got a monitoring bad time which then turns into being officially on the clock – I had just done an interview with Tim Barter so I was 50 yards behind the guys. I got up there and I was first to go and I had 215 yards into the wind and it was a difficult shot,” explained McDowell, who is 8-under after his first two rounds.
— UK Golf Guy (@ukgolfguy) January 31, 2020
Under this year’s new regulations a player can request one time extension per round, giving an additional 40 seconds to hit a shot, but this one is yet to slip into the players’ minds.
“I would have called a time-out if that had been something that was automatic in my brain but it was the last thing I think of out there. I called a time-out after the shot but the referee wasn’t really willing to give me any room for error and that kind of upset my rhythm for a couple of holes.
“But, hey, we’ve got to play faster, slow golf doesn’t help the viewer or the club golfer on the weekend and we just go and play faster. My routine is getting better and better and it’s something I’m working hard on doing. I was disappointed to get that bad time, but it is what it is.”
McDowell, who could get back inside the world’s top 50 if he was to win this week, was caught on film with the above. With the threat of a one-shot penalty now looming over him don’t expect him to give another on-course chat.