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February 11, 2016Justin Harding leads Euro Tour's Tshwane Open by 1 shot (The Associated Press)

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) -- Justin Harding fired a 7-under 63 to take a one-shot lead after the first round of the European Tour's Tshwane Open in South Africa on Thursday.

February 11, 2016Harding leads Tshwane Open after first round (Reuters)

South Africa’s Justin Harding birdied five of his final eight holes to surge to the top of the leaderboard after the opening round of the European Tour’s Tshwane Open on Thursday. Harding, who missed the cut in his previous two European Tour tournaments in 2016, carded a seven under-par 63 and is one shot ahead of compatriot Michael Anthony (64). Home golfer Thesis Spangenberg, who only came through the qualifying tournament on Tuesday to take his place in the field, continued that form with a five under-par 65, despite a double-bogey on the 10th hole.

February 11, 2016Golf-Harding leads Tshwane Open after first round (Reuters)

South Africa's Justin Harding birdied five of his final eight holes to surge to the top of the leaderboard after the opening round of the European Tour's Tshwane Open on Thursday. Harding, who missed the cut in his previous two European Tour tournaments in 2016, carded a seven under-par 63 and is one shot ahead of compatriot Michael Anthony (64). Home golfer Thesis Spangenberg, who only came through the qualifying tournament on Tuesday to take his place in the field, continued that form with a five under-par 65, despite a double-bogey on the 10th hole.

February 11, 2016European Tour hails new Pace of Play policy (The Associated Press)

FILE - In this Sunday Nov. 22, 2015 file photo, Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland poses with the Race to Dubai trophy after winning the final round of DP World Tour Championship golf tournament in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Rory McIlroy has been voted as the European Tour’s player of the year for 2015, winning the award for the third time in the last four seasons. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, File)

The European Tour has made a fast start in its effort to combat slow play. The revised Pace of Play policy, introduced before the Abu Dhabi Championship last month, has helped to reduce average round times and may result in an increased size of fields for tournaments, the tour said on Thursday. Recently hired chief executive Keith Pelley has made cracking down on slow play a priority, in a bid to make the game more entertaining.


February 11, 2016Golf-Euro Tour chief happy with response to new slow play policy (Reuters)

By Tony Jimenez LONDON, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Chief executive Keith Pelley is pleased at the early response to his new European Tour Pace of Play policy and has again said that slow rounds of golf are simply unacceptable. Referees are now allowed to combat slow play with a 'monitoring penalty' that began at last month's Abu Dhabi Championship and continued at the Qatar Masters and the Dubai Desert Classic. In Abu Dhabi the time for an average round was cut by five minutes compared to 2015 and in Qatar it was reduced by 10 minutes in round one and four minutes in round two compared to 2012, the last time that event had similarly windy conditions.

February 11, 2016On The Tee: Spieth wants a trophy for himself (The Associated Press)

FILE- In this Feb. 2, 2015, file photo, country music star Jake Owen, left, talks with his playing partner Jordan Spieth, right, on the third tee of the Monterey Peninsula Country Club Shore Course during the first round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament in Pebble Beach, Calif. Some see this tournament as a burden. The rounds can approach six hours because they are played in foursomes with amateurs. Spieth, who has played the last two times with Owen, says

If his match earlier this week was any indication, Jordan Spieth could be in trouble at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. To be fair, the world's No. 1 player was giving Jake Owen nine shots when they played at Cypress Point. Then again, he said Owen was beating him from the same set of tees and without taking any strokes through the opening six holes.


February 10, 2016Rejuvenated Spieth switches focus back to PGA Tour (Reuters)

Jordan Spieth of the U.S. tees off on the 18th green during the rain delayed second round of the SMBC Singapore Open golf tournament at Sentosa's Serapong golf course in Singapore January 30, 2016. REUTERS/Edgar Su

(Reuters) - Refreshed after a globe-trotting run of tournaments that took him from Hawaii to Abu Dhabi and then Singapore, Jordan Spieth returns to the PGA Tour with high hopes for this week's Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in California. The American world number one has finished no worse than joint seventh in his last seven starts worldwide while winning twice, and relishes competing in the pro-am celebrity event on the picturesque Monterey Peninsula. "My game feels good," Masters and U.S. Open champion Spieth, 22, told Golf Channel on Wednesday while preparing for Thursday's opening round.


February 10, 2016Golf-Rejuvenated Spieth switches focus back to PGA Tour (Reuters)

Refreshed after a globe-trotting run of tournaments that took him from Hawaii to Abu Dhabi and then Singapore, Jordan Spieth returns to the PGA Tour with high hopes for this week's Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in California. "My game feels good," Masters and U.S. Open champion Spieth, 22, told Golf Channel on Wednesday while preparing for Thursday's opening round. "I had a good week of rest coming back from Singapore, a couple of close finishes overseas and I am trying to look to rebound and maybe feel a bit more comfortable on the PGA Tour and hopefully get out there and capitalise with a win." Spieth tied for fifth at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and finished second at the Singapore Open in his last two starts, and is looking forward to this week when his amateur partner will be American country music singer Jake Owen.