Fazio Responds To Criticism

From Ed Sherman in the Chicago Tribune:

Tom Fazio, the architect who oversaw the latest changes at Augusta, said there are options.

But the first seems to be pushing back the tee markers.

"How many times do you hear, `You want a player to hit every club in the bag?'" Fazio said. "Well, if you want to see a player hit a 5-iron, what length par-4 would you make it for Vijay Singh to hit a 5-iron? I remember growing up as a kid where 440 yards was a long golf hole."

Herb Gould in the Chicago Sun-Times

"It's normal. There's always controversy when changes are made to old courses,'' said Fazio, citing Chris DiMarco's duel with Woods last year as evidence that shorter hitters still can compete at Augusta National.

"Who almost won the tournament last year?'' Fazio said. "Do you consider [DiMarco] to be a medium-length or short hitter? After the tournament, look at the list, the players and their lengths.''

And if claims that only the longest hitters can compete prove to be true?

"How many times has Jack Nicklaus won here?'' Fazio said. "Was he considered the longest hitter of his era?''

Told yes, Fazio said, "Things haven't changed much.''

 From Damon Hack in the New York Times:

In one area of the shade, Tom Fazio, the course architect who oversaw the lengthening of Augusta National to 7,445 yards, was being grilled by reporters, including one who bluntly told Fazio that he did not like the changes.

"I've been doing this for a long time," Fazio said. "I'm used to hearing criticism."

 And who was the berator? Hank Gola in the NY Daily News has the details:

Tom Fazio has not been the most popular man at Augusta National this week. He is the designer, who, under directives from club chairman Hootie Johnson, stretched Bobby Jones' old backyard to what many feel is over the edge.

Yesterday, for instance, he calmly stood under the 150-year-old oak tree outside the clubhouse while current BBC commentator and former European Tour player Ken Brown berated his work to his face.

"I think there was a Rembrandt here, a masterpiece and (abstract expressionist painter) Jackson Pollack has gone around the edges painting," Brown said passionately. "I don't any longer see (Bobby) Jones' and (Alistair) Mackenzie's signature here. I see someone else's."

"I submit to you that it is," Fazio countered. "You are entitled to your opinion."

He really needs to get a new line.