Matt Fitzpatrick Calls PGA Pace of Play 'Truly Appalling' After Playing With Patrick Cantlay at RBC Heritage
By Liam McKeone
Matt Fitzpatrick edged out Jordan Spieth to win the RBC Heritage last weekend in a very exciting final round that featured three playoff holes. Leading up to the playoff, the pair were joined by Patrick Cantlay as the final grouping for Sunday. Cantlay, of course, has been at the center of a storm of controversy surrounding his pace of play since Brooks Koepka complained about it after this year's Masters tournament. It does not seem likely he'll escape that controversy anytime soon.
Viewers were not pleased with Cantlay's pace again on Sunday and highlighted one putt that took him a full minute to line up and hit. Then, a few days later, Fitzpatrick did an interview with Sky Sports in which he called the PGA's pace of play issue "truly appalling," but nobody is going to do anything about it.
It certainly could be a coincidence that Fitzpatrick decided to say something about this after spending four or so hours with the slowest player on the Tour. But it almost certainly is not. During the Masters, keen-eyed viewers caught Viktor Hovland hitting his shot way, way before his playing partner Cantlay had caught up with him. That isn't a small thing. His pace of play is obviously not going unnoticed by the other golfers, even if they aren't as loud as Koepka was.
From an audience perspective I'm unsure how much of a difference it really makes. Most of the time the broadcast has other places to go when Cantlay is taking an extra two minutes on his shot and we do not feel the difference between a four hour round and a four and a half hour round from our couch. But you feel it on the golf course, and guys are starting to complain about it more and more openly.