The European Tour is touting an improved pace of play after implementing a new slow-play policy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.
Tour chief executive Keith Pelley said rounds have been, on average, 10 minutes faster.
With the kickoff to the tour's Desert Swing, Tour rules officials were told to dole out what's been dubbed a "monitoring penalty" if a player in a group that has fallen out of position took longer than 40 seconds to play a shot. Jordan Spieth was the first player to receive such a penalty, which, in and of itself, isn't punitive. However, if a player gets a second monitoring penalty throughout the season, then they'll be fined approximately $2,800.
Since the tour began enforcing the policy, 95 groups have been put on the clock and five players, including Spieth, have been given monitoring penalties. No player has been fined yet under the policy.
Pelley said in Abu Dhabi that he hopes to cut 15 minutes off the average round. As he said in the emirate and reiterated Thursday, this is just the beginning of a more serious effort to speed up play.
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