While the European Tour is set to incorporate a visible shot clock into one of its tournaments, the use of a similar mechanism on the PGA Tour still seems like a longshot. But count world No. 1 Dustin Johnson among the advocates should his home circuit decide to branch out.
Johnson is making his first start of the new wraparound season this week at the WGC-HSBC Champions in China, and he told reporters there that he would “absolutely” welcome an opportunity to have some quantified proof of who plays quickly throughout a tournament and who, well, does not.
“I think it would be very interesting. You’d see a lot of guys getting penalties on our tour,” Johnson said. “Yeah, that would be quite fun, actually. I’d have plenty of time, but there’s a lot of guys that wouldn’t. They would be getting a penalty on every hole.”
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Tee times from the WGC-HSBC Champions
The European Tour used a shot clock on one hole earlier this year at the Golf Sixes event. They recently announced that the event next summer in Austria, now dubbed the Shot Clock Masters, will feature a 40- to 50-second shot clock on every shot throughout the tournament, with players incurring one-shot penalties for violations.
Another 2016 major champ, Henrik Stenson, is also in the field this week in China. Stenson told reporters that the new event format is one that he’ll monitor, although his preparation for the U.S. Open the following week would likely preclude him from teeing it up next summer.
“I think it will be a little more stressful than what we normally see,” Stenson said. “It will be interesting to follow and see what everyone thinks about that event. It’s obviously a different format, different idea on that tournament in Austria. So yeah, I’m going to follow it closely like everyone else.”