ST. ANDREWS, SCOTLAND |
with the Old Course always brings an
element of trepidation and the decision
to add a new tee to the famous par- 4
17th hole prompted anxiety attacks
among traditionalists fearful its quirky
character would be compromised.
An additional 40 yards was added to
the Road Hole, putting the tee across
a small access road technically out of
bounds. But R&A officials felt the extra
yardage – which stretched the hole’s
official length to 495 yards – was neces-
sary to combat the advances of tech-
nology. They also removed the out of
bounds stakes prior to competition.
As it turned out, the new tee drew
relatively positive reviews while the
rough along the fairway’s left side be-
came the more controversial element.
The shin-deep rough along the left side
was among the thickest on the course,
dense enough to force players who
found the heavy grass to play pitch-
out shots back to the narrow fairway
rather than play toward the green as
they could from most other rough areas
around the course.
Two days before the championship
began, the left rough was trimmed
slightly along the edge of the fairway
– a second cut – to give players a bit
more leeway off the tee.
Angel Cabrera was one of many players
who struggled on the Road Hole.
drank soft drinks from the jug and
there was some wine poured from the
The most interesting use of the
claret jug may have come over the
Fourth of July weekend when one of
Cink’s friends used it to baste
“I thought he cleaned it out but
when I went and put it in the case, I
noticed on the flight to Dublin (Ireland)
that some of it leaked out into the
Styrofoam,” Cink said. “I investigated
and found there was still sauce inside
that had to be cleaned out.
“So I cleaned it in Dublin and got it
nice and fresh and shined the outside.
It was in fit condition when it went back.”
posted a 9-un-
der-par 63 in the first round, he was
credited with a new course record on
the Old Course, breaking the previous
record of 66 authored by
hour or so earlier.
But the St. Andrews Links Trust,
which oversees such matters as course
records at the Old Course, has decided
that because of changes made to the
course over the years, what was the
record isn’t the record anymore.
When 164 yards were added to the
Old Course prior to the 2005 Open, the
record was re-established with match-
ing 64s shot by
The decision to start over this year
was tied to the 40 yards added to the
17th hole prior to this year’s Open. a
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