Brooks Koepka hit out at Patrick Cantlay after The Masters, criticising the American’s slow play during the final round in Augusta; the 31-year-old has dismissed the criticism

Last Updated: 12/04/23 11:26am

 Patrick Cantlay said everyone was waiting during the final round

Patrick Cantlay said everyone was waiting during the final round

Patrick Cantlay has dismissed slow play criticism levelled at him by Brooks Koepka after The Masters.

Cantlay was paired with Viktor Hovland in the final round in the group ahead of Koepka and Jon Rahm.

He was heavily criticised for his slow play on Sunday, with Koepka hitting out at the pace of play after finishing tied-second behind Rahm at Augusta National, where the final pair took nearly five hours to complete their round.

Highlights from the final round of The Masters at Augusta National

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Highlights from the final round of The Masters at Augusta National

Highlights from the final round of The Masters at Augusta National

Rahm and Koepka were forced to wait on almost every hole, with Cantlay and Hovland adjudged responsible for the slow finish to the first major of the year.

However, Cantlay has dismissed claims that he was solely responsible for the slow pace, saying that the final round was “slow for everyone”.

“We finished the first hole, and the group in front of us was on the second tee when we walked up to the second tee, and we waited all day on pretty much every shot. We waited in 15 fairway, we waited in 18 fairway. I imagine it was slow for everyone,” he said.

“When you play a golf course like Augusta National where all the hole locations are on lots of slope and the greens are really fast, it’s just going to take longer and longer to hole out.

“I think that may have been what attributed to some of the slow play on Sunday, and then also when the wind is gusting and the wind is blowing maybe inconsistently, that’s when guys will take a long time, too. I think that’s just the nature of playing professional golf, where every shot matters so much.”

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‘Cantlay is just a joke’

Koepka earlier described the pace in the final round as “brutally slow”, adding: “Jon [Rahm] went to the bathroom like seven times during the round, and we were still waiting.”

Hovland also appeared frustrated with Cantlay’s slow play, hitting his third shot to the par-five 13th while the American was still walking towards the green, with the pace of play criticised by this week’s guests on the Sky Sports Golf podcast.

“Cantlay is just a joke, I can’t watch him,” Jamie Spence said. “He has that demeanour about him and I just don’t think he can get out of that gear he’s in – that’s how he plays.

“It’s up to the officials to have a word with him. He should have a look at himself, really, because nobody wants to watch that. Some of them either think they’re not slow or they’re in total ignorance, but if the rules officials let them get away with it then they’re going to carry on.”

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Slow play penalties are rarely issued on the PGA Tour and DP World Tour, with Sky Sports’ Robert Lee believing that players get away with it far too often.

“It seems the bigger name you are, the more you get away with,” Lee said. “There is an optimum time to play golf and if you go beyond that, it actually makes the game harder.

“Once you’ve made your decision, execute your plan and go – that’s how you should play. But consternation, constantly questioning time and time again, it just becomes boring for the other player.”

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