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Edoardo Molinari Names and Shames in Slow-Play Controversy

He might be well and truly in the shadow of his brother Francesco, but Edoardo Molinari has caused significant controversy by naming and shaming European Tour stars in bid to rid golf of slow play.

While his brother Francesco has gone on to win a major, be the star of the 2018 Ryder Cup and become firmly entrenched as one of the top 10 players in the world, Edoardo languishes below the 500 mark in the Official World Golf Rankings despite having won three times during his career.

But it was Edoardo who made the headlines during the Trophee Hassan II event in Morocco, and it all came about from what was a simple Tweet to moan about slow play he had encountered during his round.

“It’s time that professional golf does something serious for slow play,” was Edoardo’s Tweet. “5h30min to play 18 holes on a golf course without rough is just too long…way too long! #stopslowplay.”

Slow play has been a significant blight on tournaments on both sides of the Atlantic with the PGA Tour not immune to the problem either. In fact, it was only in February that leading name Adam Scott branded golf a “laughing stock” over the failure to punish players for slow play.

Despite the PGA Tour bringing in rules to combat the epidemic creeping into the game, few players have been punished or even placed on the clock during rounds in which slow play has been clearly evident. Golfers should take no more than 50 seconds to take a shot according to rules.

With a significant reaction to his initial tweet, Edoardo decided to go a step further and publish an image of the slow play warnings and fines that have been issued during the 2019 European Tour season—and it didn’t make overly pleasant reading when it comes to looking for a solution to the problem.

His Tweet read: “As promised…list of timings as of April 22nd. Next updates list will come out at the end of June! There are a few usual suspects and a few surprises.” The tweet included images of the data on the European Tour’s Timing Summary.

It showed that just three players have been fined—Adrian Otaegui, Louis Oosthuizen and Erik Van Rooyen—and they have coughed up just €3000 each.

Otaegui was the man to have been placed on the clock most during the season, being timed six times in total with one ending in a fine. Former Open champion Henrik Stenson was next in the list with four occasions being timed.

Other big names to have been timed over shots include Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama and Lucas Bjerregaard, but none had transgressed enough to get fined.

But Molinari’s fellow European Tour star Chris Paisley defended some of his colleagues at the Trophee Hassan II, tweeting: “I agree slow play is annoying but today we had…-tons of leaves all over the greens -20-25mph wind -Long, tight golf course -Crazy sloping greens -Average score way over par. If ever a day was going to be slow it was today!”

That won’t appease some who want to see golf eradicate slow play at the professional level. It will be interesting to see whether Molinari does release the timing summary when it is next available in June.

See also: Slow Play Back on the Agenda, but Will It Be Punished?