European Tour to begin tougher crackdown on slow play in Abu Dhabi
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 21/01/16 12:30pm
The European Tour has announced it will begin its crackdown on slow play at this week's star-studded Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.
Players deemed to be out of position during a round will be monitored closely by tournament officials, but they will not be informed if they are playing too slowly.
Officials can enforce a "monitoring penalty" on players who remain behind the pace of play in a bid to trim 15 minutes from a round of golf in European Tour events.
Players issued with two monitoring penalties for exceeding the time allowed per shot - 50 seconds if first to play and 40 seconds for the remainder of the group - will be issued a fine of £2,000, although there are no plans as yet to impose shot penalties.
European Tour chief referee John Paramor said: "We will now be with the players, rather than informing them that they are out of position and leaving them to do it (catch up) by themselves. We found that had mixed success.
"We feel we are going to have to stay with the players so we will be able to see every shot played from the moment that we identify that they are out of position. We can see who the problem is and they are the ones who will get these monitoring penalties which can end up being costly."
Chief executive Keith Pelley announced at last year's DP World Tour Championship in Dubai that he would be introducing measures this season to combat the scourge of slow play.
Describing this week's plans as "the first step", Pelley said: "Our new policy will help identify the slow players and will allow our faster players, who have never had a problem, to feel less pressured by the rules officials.
"We believe this measure will help keep groups in position on the golf course and, in doing that, shave up to 15 minutes per group per round. This will help make golf more appealing and engaging to our fans, both at the course itself or watching on television."