European Tour to introduce shot clock at Austrian Open

Players have up to 50 seconds to complete a shot or will receive a one stroke penalty

Winner of the 2017 Austrian Open, Dylan Frittelli. Photograph: Kevin Scott/Inpho

Winner of the 2017 Austrian Open, Dylan Frittelli. Photograph: Kevin Scott/Inpho

 

The European Tour will set a time limit on every shot at next season’s re-branded Austrian Open in a bid to combat slow play.

The Shot Clock Masters in June will be the first tournament in professional golf to implement a restriction on every shot, with players facing a one-shot penalty for failing to play in time.

Each group will have 50 seconds for the first player to play any given shot, and 40 seconds for subsequent players. A one-shot penalty will be issued for each bad time incurred, with each player given two time-outs per round which will double their allotted time.

The concept was trialled by the Tour on a single hole at the GolfSixes earlier this year, and will now be rolled out over an entire 72-hole strokeplay event for the first time at Diamond Country Club.

It is hoped the move will cut round times by around 45 minutes, and European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley said: “The 2018 Shot Clock Masters will be a fascinating addition to our schedule next year.

“Not only will it help us combat slow play and reduce round times, it is also further evidence of our desire to embrace innovation.”

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