PGA Tour announces review into its pace of play policy

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The PGA Tour has announced tonight that it is reviewing its pace of play policies in light of recent incidents.

In the same week that Brooks Koepka, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy all aired their frustrations with slow play, Bryson DeChambeau – a notoriously deliberate player – has found himself singled out for criticism for two particular incidents during this week’s Northern Trust.

As the furore continues to unfold – with DeChambeau singling out Koepka and English ace Eddie Pepperell for criticism of his own – the tour has announced that it is taking action.

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In a statement, it said: “The tour’s current pace-of-play policy only addresses players whose groups have fallen out of position. The tour is now exploring whether to expand its policy to also address players whose groups are in position, but who take an excessive amount of time to hit a shot.”

Tyler Dennis, the PGA Tour’s Chief of Operations, revealed that they are working on a solution with ShotLink, the cutting-edge real-time platform for collecting and measuring data on every shot by every player. 

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“We know that the individual habits of players when they are preparing to hit a shot can quickly become a focal point in today’s world, and our players and fans are very passionate about this issue,” he said. 

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“We have leveraged our ShotLink technology to provide every player with a pace of play report that they can access which breaks down the varying parts of their game and gives feedback on the amount of time on average that the player takes to hit a particular shot.

“We are currently in the process of reviewing this aspect of pace of play and asking ourselves, ‘Is there a better way to do it?’ We think technology definitely plays a key role in all of this and we are thinking about new and innovative ways to use it to address these situations.”

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At present, players are put on the clock when their group falls out of position. Players are given an allotted time between 40 and 50 seconds (depending on factors such as order of play) to hit a shot. The first bad time results in a warning, while a second bad time in the same round is a one-stroke penalty. 

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Players are fined for a second bad time in a season, and each bad time thereafter, and for each time they are put on the clock after the tenth time.

There is not currently a policy to assess penalties or fines when players’ groups are in position but, in the same statement posted on the PGA Tour website, it was revealed that one could soon be added.

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