European Tour goes on the clock in 2018
World No 1 Dustin Johnson thinks it might be fun but former Open champion Henrik Stenson isn’t so sure, suggesting it might add to the stress.
Either way the 2018 Shot Clock Masters in Austria will go ahead and will be the first tournament in professional golf to use a shot clock on every shot as part of the European Tour’s bid to combat slow play.
Dustin Johnson (Credit:www.golffile.ie)
Earlier this year, the European Tour experimented with a shot clock on one hole at GolfSixes – a move which proved popular with players and fans.
Now the concept will be used for the first time at a European Tour event at the Diamond Country Club, from June 7-10, 2018.
And this time the event will embrace the Tour’s official timing over 72 holes, with an intent to showcase a European Tour event played at a more compelling pace.
In accordance with this official policy, each player in the 120-man field will have 50 seconds for the first player in a group to play any given shot, 40 seconds for subsequent players.
Players will incur a one-shot penalty for each bad time incurred and these will be shown as a red card against their name on the leaderboard.
Each player will have the right to call two ‘time-outs’ during a round which will permit them twice the usually allotted time to play the shot.
Johnson told reporters while he was playing in China at last week’s World Tour event, the WGC-HSBC Champions, that he would “absolutely” welcome an opportunity to have some quantified proof of who played quickly throughout a tournament and, obviously, who did not.
“I think it would be very interesting. You’d see a lot of guys getting penalties on our tour,” Johnson said.
“Yeah, that would be quite fun, actually. I’d have plenty of time, but there’s a lot of guys that wouldn’t.
“They would be getting a penalty on every hole.”
Stenson is not so sure:
“I think it will be a little more stressful than what we normally see,” he said.
“It will be interesting to follow and see what everyone thinks about that event.”
“So yeah, I’m going to follow it closely like everyone else.”