Tour Notebook: Slow coach Spieth and the Olympic idealJanuary, 2016
Spieth makes history in the Gulf
Spieth the first to fall foul of the Tour’s slow play policy
It might not be the hard-hitting shot-adding sanctions that everyone seems to want put in place but it’s a start.
The European Tour have announced a new pace of play policy to try and shave off 15 minutes per round. And none other than World No 1 Jordan Spieth was the first to make the headlines.
The McIlroy-Spieth-Fowler threeball were monitored from the 4th hole and Spieth then got a ‘bad time’ on the 8th green. The new rule states that any player who exceeds the time allowed – 50 seconds if playing first, 40 seconds otherwise – and two monitoring penalties in a round would result in a £2,000 fine.
European Tour chief referee John Paramor explained: “We will now be with the players, rather than informing them that they are out of position and leaving them to do it (catch up) by themselves. We found that had mixed success.”
Needless to say the players saw weren’t overly impressed.
Spieth said: “I got a bad time on my putt and the guys behind us hadn’t even reached the fairway on a par five.
“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.”
But Paramor insisted that everything was done correctly.
“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 8th hole, which I advised him of as he walked to the 9th tee.”
England’s Daniel Brooks was also issued a monitoring penalty in the second round and France’s Benjamin Hebert made it three people on the list on Sunday.
Players’ legs set to feature in 2016
It used to be the way that golfers, good golfers anyway, would only be allowed to wear shorts in the US Amateur.
Now, in this new era of modern thinking, European Tour players can don their shorts in practice rounds and pro-ams should they fancy getting their legs out.
Ian Poulter was in favour, tweeting: “It’s 2016 not 1990. Get rid of the stuffy old rules that hold golf back. Make it more fun (for) everyone.”
As for the best players in the world they were also behind the move. “I think it’s a good idea, I just need a couple more weeks in the sun to get my legs out in public,” added McIlroy. “Sort of pale Irish skin doesn’t go so well.”
And we would have kopped a load of Spieth’s pins had the message got through.
He said: “I did not get the memo or I would not have been wearing pants. I think it’s a great idea and would like to see it on the PGA Tour as well. I just wish my hotel was closer or I would have gone back to change.”
"I think it’s a good idea, I just need a couple more weeks in the sun to get my legs out in public" – Rory McIlroy Donaldson + chainsaw = a bloody mess
Should social media not be your thing then you might have missed Jamie Donaldson’s Tweeted picture of his messed-up finger after a mishap with a chainsaw.
“So folks in my time off decided to have a fight with a chainsaw and lost! Oops!! C u in Dubai”
It meant he missed out on Abu Dhabi, a tournament he won three years ago, but within two days the injury was looking better after having the stitches out and he is now in Singapore and set to play this week.
Major or Olympic gold?
While plenty of players are sitting on the fence when it comes to admitting what the Olympics means to them, Martin Kaymer has revealed that he would rather finish the year with a gold medal than a Major.
“I’ll take the major next year, the gold medal this year. In my career I’ve only maybe twice, hopefully three times a chance to win a gold medal. The Majors, I will have a lot more. I have time to win one of those again,” said Kaymer who already has two Majors.
“I think that if I go, I would like to have the maximum out of it. If I can win or if I can compete or at least have a chance and go to other sports, watch them and see how much heart they put in it, I think that is what the Olympic
Games are all about, and that’s why I think it would be amazing to be successful there.”
Asked the same question Henrik Stenson and Rickie Fowler, two of the best players in the world without a Major, said that one of the big four would still trump anything.
“I guess if I had to choose, I might take a major championship by a couple of percent. But if I win the gold medal, I might tell you differently,” explained Stenson.
Fowler, who ended the week with the Falcon trophy, added: “A major is a Major and it’s always going to be a Major. Up until this year, the Olympics was never really even a thought for us. So they are just completely different ends of the spectrum. But it’s pretty special being able to carry your flag and wear your colours.”