PGA: Sony Open in Hawaii - Third Round

January 11, 2020; Honolulu, Hawaii, USA; Cameron Davis putts on the 17th hole during the third round of the Sony Open in Hawaii golf tournament at Waialae Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The PGA says it will not hesitate in putting deliberate players on a secret watch list as it formulates a new plan for dealing with slow play in 2020 that includes a significant increase to fines.

The PGA Tour's new pace-of-play policy will go into effect April 16 for the first round of the RBC Heritage at Hilton Head, S.C., and in addition to the increased monetary punishment, it will have stroke penalties that are expected to be handed out more often.

The tour's new "Observation List" now will target individual players instead of punishing slow groups. ShotLink data will be used over a 10-tournament rolling period. Players who take longer than a 60-second average to hit shots will be placed on the new watch list.

The watch list will not be made public, but individual players will be notified if they are on it.

Players also will be monitored to see if they take more than 120 seconds to hit a shot. A violation would result in an "Excessive Shot Time" penalty.

While the previous penalty for a shot-time violation was $5,000, new penalties could be raised to as much as $50,000.

"We felt we needed to ratchet up the deterrence," the PGA Tour's chief of operations Tyler Dennis said. "We've significantly upped the ante on stroke penalties. Currently it's by the round; now it's going to be over the entire tournament. It's more likely that a player could find themselves in this situation."

The second-tier Korn Ferry Tour also will adopt the new pace-of-play rules later this year.

"I love it," PGA Tour standout Zach Johnson said. "We're proactive. That's the first thing. To be perfectly honest with you, the policy that's in place has not changed and it will not change, but there is kind of like a tangent arm to that that's going to help facilitate and I think try to make the game a little bit quicker."

--Field Level Media

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