Open Diary: St Andrews may need further change

Joy Chakravarty 03:01 20/07/2015
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Iconic: St Andrews.

There was a massive debate among golf lovers across the globe when the R&A and the St Andrews Links Trust announced they would make changes to the Old Course in 2012. Now that it has been done, Graeme McDowell believes that the golf course still needs some renovations.

Back in 2000, when Tiger Woods won, the thing that stood out in his performance was that he did not visit a single bunker in his four rounds. And this year, most professionals seem to be avoiding them as well.

“The bunkers are just not really in play enough,” said McDowell.

“I don’t think you’ve got to go put a ton of yardage on this golf course. I think this golf course needs just had a tiny bit more rough and the bunkers slightly up to modern yardages.

“Unfortunately driving the ball is just too easy this week. This is a fantastic golf course and it doesn’t need a complete rejig, it just needs a little bit of reshaping here and there.”

Hend anger over conditions

Aussie Scott Hend is known not to mince his words. And he wasn’t holding back anything after being at the receiving end of the R&A’s decision to start play on Saturday morning in high winds.

In the 32 minutes Hend was out on the golf course in treacherous conditions, he managed to make a double bogey on the eighth hole and missed the cut by two shots.

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Speaking to Golf Australia, Hend said their protests were ignored and they were told that if they stopped or walked off, they would be disqualified.

“The R&A was an absolute disgrace deciding to put us out there in the wind,” Hend said.

“They want to come out with a diatribe that the wind picked up 10-15 per cent once they blew the horn, but that’s absolutely ridiculous.

“They knew well and truly that the course was unplayable – this is a course they’re at all the time and know what happens.”

Attendance records smashed

Regardless of the result of the 2015 Open Championship, it is bound to go into the history books as the most well-attended tournament of all time.

The previous record is 230,000 fans through the turnstiles in the 2000 Open at St Andrews and at Royal Liverpool in 2006.

Already 156,578 fans attended the tournament until Saturday and some 42,000 were thought to have been present yesterday.

And given that there is an extra day of play, the deciding day with tickets priced at just 10 pounds, the R&A are expecting another large crowd today.

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