As the once great Tiger Woods is getting older, so is the game of golf — and the 'old' Woods is sick of it.
Coming off of a weekend that was as up and down — as his last 12 months of golf have been — Woods spoke to reporters about how the current speed of golf is maddeningly slow.
When asked Sunday to compare the current pace of the PGA as opposed to four years ago, Woods responded with an emphatic 'worse'.
"Last week, we were playing 4:40 (on Thursday and Friday at Quail Hollow) and there's no wind. That's hard to believe." Woods said.
The complaint about slow play isn't a new one. Players have been grumbling about it for quite awhile. But as matches are starting to stretch to almost record time, those quiet grumblings are starting to become steadily louder and more public.
Currently, the PGA Tour threatens players with penalty strokes for falling out of position relative to the field and continuing to play slowly. In order to get a penalty stroke, however, a player must falter twice while on the clock. It's Woods' belief that they should penalize on the initial warning instead of waiting to the second.
"I think it's very simple," he said. "If you get a warning, you get a penalty. I think that would speed it up."
It's Woods' belief that if a player is facing a stroke penalty, then they would speed up their play due to the value the potential stroke may represent.
One stroke could be all the difference between a first or a second place finish, and using this past weekend as an example, that would mean losing out on $684,000. That's a fair amount more than the Tour's current policy of fining players anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 for consistent pace of play violations.
"Strokes is money," Woods said. "I would take the five grand (fine) over the 800K. That's one shot. That's the difference. That's what people don't realize – that one shot is so valuable out here."
When asked for the source of this current slow play epidemic, Woods pointed to the college game as the issue. In college, matches could take upwards to six hours to complete and it's that slow play that is transcending to the next level with the current wave of 20-somethings that are making names for themselves.
"College has gotten just incredibly slow," Woods said. "It's so bad that now they are giving the guys the ability to use lasers to try to speed up play. And they're still playing in 5:45, six hours plus."
With golf already a sport that doesn't draw because of it's low excitement level, slower play could potentially cost the sport viewers and popularity. If that happens, then the pocketbooks will be hit next and I'm sure that would be enough to get the ball rolling on some stiffer pace penalties.
Photo Credit: AP
James LeBeau is a sports contributor for CraveOnline Sports and you can follow him on Twitter @JleBeau76 or subscribe on Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.