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European Tour to get tough on slow play with stiffer penalties


By Phil Casey

The European Tour has announced a four-point plan to tackle slow play, including a shortened process before players are handed a one-shot penalty.

Financial penalties will also be increased for players who are regularly timed by officials during the season, while members will have to pass an online rules test and field sizes in fully sanctioned events will be reduced from 156 to a minimum of 144.

Currently, a player being monitored would have to exceed the time allowance - 50 seconds if first to play, 40 seconds thereafter - before being officially timed and would then have to exceed the limit twice more in the same round to be given a one-shot penalty.

Under the new regulations to be introduced next season, when players are out of position and either being monitored or timed, a one-shot penalty will be incurred if they exceed the time limit twice.

Players will have the option to request one time extension per round, giving an additional 40 seconds to hit a shot.

Fines for consistently slow players who are regularly timed will increase. For example, a player who is timed 15 times in the 2020 season will have to pay £26,000 in fines as opposed to £9,000 this year.

The slow play debate turned personal last week as Bryson DeChambeau came in for stinging criticism from fellow professionals after taking two minutes and 20 seconds to hit a putt during the second round of The Northern Trust at Liberty National.

However, the European Tour's initiative stemmed from a meeting of its Tournament Committee in May and was approved in July.

Belfast Telegraph


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