Former slow player Spieth helped Tour develop new pace-of-play policy

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SAN DIEGO – In 2016, Jordan Spieth vowed to speed things up on the golf course, and his self-imposed transformation from problem to perfectly in the middle of the pack was cited as an example of how players can pick up the pace.

Spieth, who was voted among the PGA Tour’s five slowest players in an anonymous player poll in 2017, said his decision to play faster was “selfish.”

“For me, I just didn’t enjoy having that label and wanted to change it,” Spieth said Tuesday at Torrey Pines.

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Spieth was part of the process to develop the Tour’s new pace-of-play policy as a member of the policy board and considered the circuit’s shift to a program that focused on individual pace of play a step in the right direction.

“You can’t just improve pace of play. You can’t say, ‘Oh, our rounds are going to go from 4:40 [hours] to 3:40,’ it just doesn’t happen,” he said. “But if you can limit the individualized significant overtimes, then I think, overall, it’s just a better product that we’re putting out there, whether it’s people in your own group or how it appears to the public.”

The new policy, which begins in April, will create an “observation list” that will include essentially 10 percent of the Tour’s slowest players for additional monitoring during rounds, which is a significant shift away from the old policy that focused on keeping groups on pace.