Does Stenson Have A Point?


Stenson: None too happy.

Stenson: None too happy.

Henrik Stenson didn't appreciate being put on the clock as the Arnold Palmer Invitational's final round reached its climax.

The Swede was right in the hunt for the title on the back nine in the final round at Bay Hill, and was in fact a shot ahead with four holes to play, but after being put on the clock by officials on the 15th, he three-putted that hole and then the 16th as his chances went up in smoke.

Instead it was Matt Every, the defending champion, who sank a 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th to complete a closing 66 and snatch the title.

Stenson was notably unhappy at being timed for slow play on the back nine.

"I'm obviously a little disappointed with the outcome," said the Ryder Cup star.

"I'm as much disappointed with the PGA Tour officials for putting us on the clock on 15, starting to chase us down the stretch.

"It's busy enough trying to close out a golf tournament and to play the finishing holes without being on the clock. I did not see the reason for that really.

"On the green I didn't really have much time to look at my putt and rushed that one," he added.

"That's really what cost me the tournament.

"I thought we were here to play golf and not finish at 6 [pm]. I know we have times to take into consideration. If one, two minutes on the broadcast is going to make or break it then I think we need to have some more leeway with it."

Does Stenson have a reason to be disgruntled?

Under competition rules, a group is put on the clock if it falls behind the allotted time for each hole and has also fallen well behind the preceding group.

This appeared to be the case with Stenson and his playing partner Morgan Hoffman, who according to PGA Tour officials were the slowest pairing of the day.

And they had already been warned for slow play earlier in the round, so perhaps they should have more of an effort to pick up their place.

Then again, to expect one of the final pairings of the day to complete their final rounds in four hours (they only teed off at 2pm and broadcaster NBC wanted them to complete their rounds by 6pm) seems unrealistic.

If PGA Tour officials are so intent on speeding up the game, perhaps they should look at taking some sensible measures to try and make that happen.

One suggestion is to let the caddies in professional tournaments use rangefinders, which would cut down the time spent on working out yardages.

At the end of the day, however, slow play is considered a scourge by many, so Stenson probably shouldn't expect to receive an outpouring of support.

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