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Wednesday, 06 June 2018
A referee drives a buggy with an electronic clock display during the Pro-Am of The 2018 Shot Clock Masters  (Getty Images)
A referee drives a buggy with an electronic clock display during the Pro-Am of The 2018 Shot Clock Masters (Getty Images)

The European Tour is breaking new ground again this week with every player in the field on the clock at the Shot Clock Masters.

The players will have a 50-second allowance for a first to play approach shot (including a par three tee-shot), chip or putt and a 40-second allowance for a tee-shot on a par four or par five, or second or third to play approach shot, chip or putt.

Failure to make your shot in the allotted time will lead to a one-shot penalty on the hole in question but players are allowed two 40-second time-extensions in any one round.

Coming hot on the heels of the ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth, GolfSixes and Belgian Knockout, the new format is yet another way the European Tour is pushing the boundaries with innovative new ideas, and we asked some of the players teeing it up at Diamond Country Club what they thought.

Matthias Schwab

"Really anything that improves pace of play is great for the game. I see myself as a relatively fast player so I don't think I'll have too many issues with the new format. It's great for me that they are testing it here in Austria. I know the course fairly well so I'm sure that's a little bit of an advantage for me and it will be a fun week. I'm sure the organisers and the European Tour have thought it through and there's a reason why they picked this tournament. For me it's great, I know the course well, I've played here a lot of times. I don't see myself having too many troubles with the shot clock. It will be fun for sure."

Nino Bertasio

"I'm looking forward to it a lot to be honest. I'm not a slow player. It's going to be good to see, it's going to be interesting to see and I know they are going to give us a little practice in the pro am so I'm looking forward to it. To be honest, once you are prepared, 40 seconds - or 50 seconds if you are first - is quite a bit. But you know if you get a windy day or something pulls you off it can go by very quickly, so I don't know, we'll see."

Miguel Ángel Jiménez

"It's nice to see a different format, to see how we are with the timings. I think it will be very interesting to see how we can deal with that. When I first turned pro I didn't think I would see a tournament like this. They have improved different elements of the game the last few years and trying to make something different, try to see how much we can improve the show. We are here for that and to show our skills, it's nice."

Wu Ashun

"I think the idea of the shot clock is very good and will help many players to play a bit quickly. That helps the game and the tournament. With this rule you have to get ready, you have to be thinking the right way because you don't have much time to think. You have to talk with your caddie and make good decisions with clubs and yardage. It's good I think."

Nicolas Colsaerts

"I'm very much looking forward to it. I think the debate has been on the table for a long time now about trying to speed up play somehow so I'm quite curious to see if this format will make a difference. I tend to think that I'm always early enough not to be bothered by any sort of clock whatsoever but I'm sure it will be in the back of the mind of a few players. Most of the time you think that 40 or 50 seconds is a long time, or enough time actually to pull the trigger and hit a shot but on some occasions you will come quite close to it. I think it's just a matter of being ready on time and just be aware of what's going on in a group and be aware when it's your time to go."

Søren Kjeldsen

"It's going to be very interesting and has gathered the attention of the golfing world. It will be really interesting to see how it all pans out, how much time we save and the slower players if they will be under more stress. I'm really looking forward to it. Regards to the time extensions, I think it's important to look at it that it shouldn't really be necessary. I think it's okay that they are in there if you get into an extraordinary situation but I think, as an overall rule, you should play within the 50 or the 40 seconds. If you've got some crazy shot with a tree in the way or something you might take a little bit longer but the whole idea is that we stay under the time limit."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1KORHONEN, MikkoFIN18-16
2SYME, ConnorSCO18-10
T3COLSAERTS, NicolasBEL18-9
T3WEBSTER, SteveENG18-9
T3JACQUELIN, RaphaëlFRA18-9
T3WALTERS, JustinRSA18-9

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