ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Two days after being issued a “monitoring” penalty for violating the European Tour’s new pace of play policy, Jordan Spieth raced the sunset at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship – and won.
The world No. 1 completed his round, a 4-under 68 to move back into contention at 7 under par, after officials had already blown the horn to stop play. Players can complete the hole they are on when the horn is sounded and Spieth finished his round playing the last hole in a six-some.
Playing in the group ahead of Spieth, second-round leader Andy Sullivan had to return to the ninth tee after losing his tee shot in a bush. In order to finish the round, Spieth’s group joined the threesome in front of them – which included Eddie Pepperell, Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Tyrell Hatton – to play the final hole.
“I haven't played a six-ball before. That was a first,” said Spieth, who struggled to complete his second round (73) earlier on Saturday. “We were all asking the guys in front of us, if you guys want to, just go finish and we'll play behind you, that's the way it's supposed to be. They didn't really mind.”
Spieth will begin the final round, which will start after the completion of the third round, within striking distance of the lead, which is now 10 under.
Spieth nearly didn’t get to finish his round, with the horn sounding just as he completed his follow through with his drive.
“How about that,” smiled Spieth, who high-fived his caddie after teeing off. “I even asked one of the officials on No. 7 green, I said, ‘Would you guys mind at least giving us a five-minute warning when the horn is going to blow,’ because it's blowing earlier than it is the times we've got it blown in the [United States].”