Remember last year about this time, when Augusta officials tagged Tianlang Guan with a penalty for slow play and the 14-year-old amateur became known as the Glen Day (the last guy, in 1995, assessed a stroke for Kevin Na’ing his way around a PGA Tour event) of the 2013 Masters?
Well, move over, Guan, Na, Day, Ben Crane, Jim Furyk, Matt Kuchar (no stranger to being put on the clock), and all other pretenders to the throne of torpidity and make way for the newest "While We’re Young" poster boy, Valero Texas Open T4 finisher Andrew Loupe.
Zach Johnson may choose not to call out colleagues for the methodical, deliberate, painstaking, cautious, meticulous, exacting, fastidious, finicky, fussy, stuporous -- insert any synonym you like for "skull-imploding sluggishness" -- ways in which many of them ply their trade. (Seriously, ZJ? Not enough sunlight caused the evolutionary pace of three hours for the field to play the first nine holes in Sunday’s finale at TPC San Antonio? Too many players per event, when only 71 teed off in the final round?)
Check out this Golf Channel video to watch the 2007 Masters winner offer some decent solutions along with some head-scratching excuses, as well as GC’s Ryan Burr, Steve Flesch, and Tripp Isenhour ripping Loupe a new one for his mind-numbing, one minute-plus (1:14 to be exact) pre-shot routine that had Johnny Miller threatening to retire his microphone).
Small wonder NBC’s Miller proclaimed on Saturday that, "If everyone on tour played like him, I’d quit announcing."
We won’t regurgitate the same tired diatribes about how slow play is ruining the game, engage in the ritual hand-wringing that occurs after every new Loupe crawls into view, or point out (in much detail, anyway) how the only solution to the problem that has dogged golf likely since its inception is to enforce the actual rules and do what veteran European Tour official John Paramor did to Guan last year. Because, really, what’s the use?
Andrew Loupe has already received one bad time today. Next one? He'll be the 1st player to be penalized for slow play under the new policy.— Ryan Lavner (@RyanLavnerGC) March 30, 2014
We’ll just let Loupe tell you himself how much he gives a damn that his incessant backing and filling and bazillion practice swings make you want to drive a ProV1x through your HDTV.
"We're on the 18th tee and they're still on the 18th green [a par-5 at TPC San Antonio]," Loupe told reporters about his response to Miller and other critics. "You hurry up and wait if you want but I'm really -- I don't care."
The time has come to fine Tim finchem for not fining deathly slow players like this loupe fellow #pgatour— John Huggan (@johnhuggan) March 30, 2014
From the silver lining playbook -- at least Loupe won’t be around to mar your Augusta viewing, since the Web.com graduate and PGA Tour rookie needed a win on Sunday to make it into his first tour major.