Peter Lawrie is not only looking to win the Spanish Open in its centenary year but he is backing a new system to be trialled later this month that could help eradicate slow play.
‘Green Eye’ is a Finnish-developed satellite system that will be able to plot the exact position of each golfer no matter their whereabouts in a tournament.
Lawrie, who is lending his “time and support” to the system, indicated the system also possesses the capability of being able to time golfers and establish the exact root causes of slow play and relieving rules officials in mistaking Tour tortoises.
London-based GP Sports, who manage Lawrie, and Paul Monaghan, owner of the Castleknock Club in Dublin who previously sponsored Lawrie, have taken out the GB & I marketing rights for the system.
GP Sport’s director of golf, Steve Schindler, met recently with a number of Tour officials including David Garland, director of European Tour operations and Jamie Birkmyre, director of championship management, who agreed to trial the system at the Tour’s flagship BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
“Green Eye will be a small computer chip that can easily be fitted to the player’s badge they wear on their trouser belts, so the minute they step on the first tee they will be virtually on the clock,” said Schindler. “The reception we got from the Tour was very warm and David said that slow play to him is work and this system could make his job easier.
“A tournament referee could look at the data tablet and see that there is a delay with group 31 and go straight to the problem.”
Lawrie explained: “Slow play is a massive problem out here but also if you come to a golf tournament and you want to know exactly where Rory McIlroy is then you can go to this machine, punch in Rory’s name and it will tell you exactly where he is.
“And the goal is that it will also help with slow play and maybe initially on the Challenge Tour where there is a shortage of referees.”
Joining Lawrie in this week’s €2 million Spanish Open is fellow Irishmen Michael Hoey, Damien McGrane, Shane Lowry, Gareth Maybin and Simon Thornton.
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