'That's a disgrace': Golfer's pre-shot routine causes controversy

Patrick Cantlay has sparked outrage at the PGA Championship – all because of something he did before hitting the ball.

The 26-year-old American has come under fire for an agonisingly long pre-shot routine.

His slow-going was particularly evident at the Par 3 sixth hole during Thursday’s opening round at the Bellerive Country Club.

Cantlay took a staggering 22 looks at the flag before finally hitting, taking 40 seconds from when he first addressed the ball.

Patrick Cantlay of the United States plays his shot from the 18th tee during the first round of the 2018 PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club on August 9, 2018 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Astonished commentators started counting the number of times Cantlay looked from the ball to the flag, snapping as the mark hit 22.

“You can’t get to 22,” one said.

“We’re having some fun with it but that is – honestly – that’s a disgrace.”

As it turns out, the routine didn’t even prove fruitful – Cantlay overshot the green and landed in the bunker, making a bogey.

Patrick Cantlay looked at the flag 22 times before finally hitting. Image: PGA

Fans were also infuriated by the delay.

First round gets underway in sombre circumstances

Jason Day fought back tears after the opening round of the PGA Championship, when he spoke with a heavy heart about the loss of his good friend Jarrod Lyle.

“It’s hard because you sit there and you know him and he’s a buddy of yours, and he’s not there anymore,” Day said.

“He’s never going to come back. That’s the hardest thing to sort of come by. Now I’m tearing up.”

Many players teed off with a heavy heart after learning Lyle lost his battle with leukemia at age 36.

The Australian was diagnosed twice with blood cancer as a youth and twice thought he had beaten it only to have it return last year.

Jason Day was emotional remembering his mate Jarrod Lyle. Image: Getty

“I’ve known Jarrod a long time,” fellow Aussie Day said. “I lived across the street from him when we first started out in Orlando. He’s a good buddy of mine. It’s obviously heartbreaking to see.”

In recalling Lyle’s life, 2015 PGA winner Day noted his friend’s determination to make the most of life, fighting to enjoy every possible day.

“He battled half his life. And the crazy thing is he was always upbeat and positive,” Day said.

Rickie Fowler, who fired a five-under-par 65 to take the lead, wore yellow in honour of Lyle.

“I was scripted to wear a dark blue shirt, so luckily I had a version of yellowish and I’m happy (I) could support Jarrod,” Fowler said.

“It was tough news yesterday and it’s been a tough few weeks.”

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