Pro slams Masters group’s ‘just brutal’ slow play at Augusta National

Pro golfer Tyrrell Hatton reacts to a putt on the 18th green during the second round of the 2024 Masters.

Tyrrell Hatton reacts to a putt on the 18th green during the second round of the 2024 Masters on Friday at Augusta National.

Getty Images

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Two years ago, Tyrrell Hatton called Augusta National “unfair at times,” which, you can imagine, made some headlines. The home of the Masters doesn’t get negative criticism from professional golfers too often.

“You can hit good shots here and not get any reward for it. It’s unfair at times,” Hatton said back in 2022, after his final round. “I don’t agree with that. If you hit a good shot, you should end up near the hole — not short-sided into a bunker because of the slopes that they’ve created and stuff. Yeah, I don’t think it’s a fair test at times, and when you hit good shots and you’re not rewarded for it, it shows.”

He’s softened on that stance this year and admitted rounds will take longer in the windy conditions players have faced the first two rounds (some rounds were about six hours Friday). But that doesn’t mean he wasn’t frustrated by the pace of play from the group in front of him the past two days, which he believed wasn’t keeping up.

Fred Couples of the United States walks the second fairway during the second round of the 2024 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club
‘It’s embarrassing’: Fred Couples’ brutal Masters ends with candid self-reflection  
By: Alan Bastable

On Friday, after he shot a two-over 74 to sit at two over for the week, safely inside the cut line, Hatton was asked about a long delay his group dealt with while waiting to hit into the par-4 14th green during the second round.

“The lads in front have been so slow,” he said. “It’s pretty poor from the officials that it took 32 holes to put them on the clock. Yesterday they’d lost a hole and a half, and then they weren’t any better even this morning, and then for the second round they were just brutal.

“Fine for them — they’re not waiting on any shot that they hit,” he continued. “But for us, we stood in the fairway, we stood on the tee. It was really hard to get a rhythm, so it was disappointing that it took 32 holes for an official to go, ‘Oh, we’ve put the group in front on the clock.'”

Hatton played with Keegan Bradley and Matthieu Pavon. The threesome in front of them Hatton was referring to consisted of Patrick Reed, Sungjae Im and Kurt Kitayama.

Augusta National does not announce when groups are put on the clock. Reed was the only member of that threesome to speak with the media after his round, but he didn’t mention anything about his group’s pace or general pace of play for the week.

“We stood on the 8th waiting to hit our second shots in, and they’re still putting out, and the lads in front of them have teed off 10,” Hatton said. “It’s a small field. It’s not hard to really keep up with the group in front. I understand if you’ve had a tough hole, but when it’s just like every hole, then it’s a bit more frustrating.”

This is Hatton’s eighth Masters, and he’ll make the cut for the sixth time. His best finish was a T18 in 2021.

Josh Berhow Editor

As’s managing editor, Berhow handles the day-to-day and long-term planning of one of the sport’s most-read news and service websites. He spends most of his days writing, editing, planning and wondering if he’ll ever break 80. Before joining in 2015, he worked at newspapers in Minnesota and Iowa. A graduate of Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minn., he resides in the Twin Cities with his wife and two kids. You can reach him at