• 22-year-old was warned during his first round in Abu Dhabi
• "It was a bit odd," said the American afterwards
JORDAN SPIETH | EUROPEAN TOUR
World No.1 Jordan Spieth was the first victim of the European Tour’s new slow play policy after he received a warning during the first round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.
In his first start in a regular season European Tour event as a professional, the 22-year-old was warned by chief referee John Paramor after he was alleged to have taken too long over a birdie putt on the par-5 eighth hole.
"It was a bit odd" - Jordan Spieth
Speaking after his round, where he carded a four-under-par 68 to sit four shots behind leader Bryson DeChambeau, Spieth, who earned $22m on the course in 2015, described the incident as ‘a bit odd’, and if he gets pulled up for it again it will result in a £2,000 fine.
“I got a bad time on my putt on the eighth when they took us off the clock on that green and the guys behind us hadn't even reached the fairway on a par-5,” said a perplexed Spieth. “I understand that if you are being timed and you are taking longer than the allotted time, you get a bad time. I understand the rule but it doesn't make a whole lot of sense when our group had caught up.”
The new rules, introduced by European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley, are different to those of the PGA Tour, with the aim of shaving 15 minutes off the duration of a round to help the sport become ‘more appealing and engaging to fans’.
Afterwards, referee Paramor told Sky Sports: “Pace of play on the European Tour is measured by whether a group keeps to the starting interval between groups, rather than if they are on the same hole, as it is in America.
“Jordan was assessed a monitoring penalty after his putt on the eighth hole, which I advised him of as he walked to the ninth tee.”
Jordan Spieth :: Harsh warning?
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