(Reuters) - The hot topic of slow play boiled over on Saturday when renowned slowpoke Bryson DeChambeau hit back at one of his peers who had noted the glacial pace of his play during the second round at the Northern Trust in New Jersey.
Slow play has been a major topic of conversation recently, with world number one Brooks Koepka and fellow four-times major champion Rory McIlroy among those speaking out and pleading with officials to do something about it.
On Friday, outspoken Englishman Eddie Pepperell took to his Twitter account to call out DeChambeau after the American had taken more than two minutes to line up a putt once it was his turn to play at the eighth hole.
World number 40 Pepperell, who is not playing in the event at Liberty National, thought DeChambeau’s dilly-dallying unfair on playing companions Justin Thomas and Tommy Fleetwood.
“Just look at Tommy and Justin, both looking completely bored,” Pepperell tweeted.
“Slow players do this to their playing partners making the game less enjoyable. Problem is, the unaffected single-minded twit in this instance, doesn’t care much for others.”
At another hole, DeChambeau paced off a 70-yard approach shot, again taking a couple of minutes.
It clearly did not take long for the criticism to get back to DeChambeau, who was not amused.
He approached reporters after the third round on Saturday to put his side of the story, according to golfchannel.com.
“Let’s talk about slow play. I’ll introduce this and talk about it,” said the American Ryder Cup player, who has a physics degree and, critics say, a habit of over-analysing shots.
“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.”
DeChambeau acknowledged he occasionally took more than his allotted 40 seconds to play but guessed it was only five percent of the time.
He said he took exception to a fellow professional criticising him on social media and would like to hash it out face-to-face with the Englishman.
“When you start personally attacking people on Twitter, it’s like, come on, dude,” he added. “Let’s have some more balls and speak to me to my face about that.”
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina, editing by Nick Mulvenney