Rory McIlroy says ‘it’s hard not to get frustrated’ with slow play at Solheim Cup

September 19, 2019
Rory McIlroy walks off the green at the Tour Championship.

While last week’s Solheim Cup will be remembered for an epic Sunday, Europe’s late rally and Suzann Pettersen’s epic walk-off, the first two days at Gleneagles in Scotland were marred by a sluggish pace of play.

Slow play has long been a controversial topic in the golf world, and this week the European Tour is trotting out some new ideas in a step toward speeding up rounds at the BMW PGA Championship. Rory McIlroy told Golf Channel on Wednesday that he watched the Solheim Cup — but he also noticed the slow pace.

“I watched and I don’t want to single out particular people, but I watched a lot of the Solheim Cup at the weekend, and it was really slow,” McIlroy said. “As much as you want to sit there and watch and support the European girls, like it’s just hard not to get frustrated with it.”

Groups were put on the clock and one player, American Lizette Salas, received a bad time.

“It’s not fair, because the other players know how to play the game,” U.S. captain Juli Inkster said of Salas’ bad time. “So my players are playing at their pace. And then when they say we’re timing them, they speed up. And that’s — they make a living out of that. So until we change the rule, they’re going to keep doing it. And they know who they are.”

Conditions in Scotland were difficult and players were battling for precious points. The Solheim Cup, like most team events, also uses foursomes for the first two days, which in turn takes more time. Yet still players and captains came under fire.

“You look at this golf course, it’s tough,” Inkster said. “The wind’s blowing. The greens are firm. The ball’s not going anywhere. It’s cold. I mean, it’s not like it’s a pitch and putt. It’s a tough golf course. And out here every shot counts. Every putt counts. So it’s going to take longer. That’s just the way it is.”