The Players: Rory McIlroy slams pace of play on PGA Tour
McIlroy wants shot penalties introduced to fix a problem he described as an epidemic...
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 16/03/19 3:22pm
Rory McIlroy has called for tougher penalties for slow play offenders as he lambasted the pace of play during the second round of The Players Championship.
McIlroy, one of the later starters at TPC Sawgrass on Friday, completed a superb 65 in fading light in a round which took close to five-and-a-half hours, while the final groups were hard pushed to finish before darkness descended.
Anirban Lahiri could not quite get his first round done in time on day one and had to putt out early on Friday morning, with reduced daylight due to the tournament's move to March leaving the 140-man field with little to spare to get round in time.
McIlroy, long renowned as one of the world's quicker players, defied the frustrations to end the second day in a tie for the lead with Ryder Cup team-mate Tommy Fleetwood after he eagled the 16th and then holed a 25-foot putt for birdie at 17 to race to 12 under.
Book a round! Anytime, Anywhere!
Find and play great courses near you at great prices with Teeofftimes by GOLFNOW.
But he was clearly rattled at how slow the general pace of play has become on the PGA Tour, an issue he described as "an epidemic" following several incidents in recent weeks, including JB Holmes defending his painstaking pace during the final day of the Genesis Open last month.
"They don't do anything about it," said McIlroy at his post-round press conference. "It's become somewhat of an epidemic on Tour. Look, it's our livelihoods, and people are going to take their time, and as the course dries up and gets firmer and gets tougher, guys are going to take their time.
"But the fact that someone didn't finish yesterday, just being through daylight savings and the tee times and someone had to come out today because there wasn't enough light to finish, I mean, that's unacceptable.
"What time is it right now? This is five hours and 40 minutes after our tee time. I get that it can take five hours to play out there, but it shouldn't take any over that.
"Honestly, I think they should just being a little tougher and start penalising shots earlier, and that would be an easy way to fix it."