I Don't Want To Spoil The Party...

My initial jubilation at Hoylake's successful rewarding of strategic play was tempered a bit after talking to a trusted observer. This chap knows the course well and despised the R&A's juggling of the closing holes.

And, like Tiger hinted, this observer felt that the over-the-top weekend hole locations were designed for one purpose: to keep scoring in check so that we would not notice that technology has rendered Hoylake irrelevant.

Me, being the eternal optimist, insisted that too many positives remain. Namely, that brown, firm golf on a well-designed course created an ideal model for tournament golf, especially since it rewarded such intelligent and measured play from Tiger.

But what if the R&A had made the hole locations a bit more accessible Saturday and Sunday, and Tiger wins at 24 under, with two other players around 20 under?

Would Ron Whitten be considered a prophet for declaring the course outdated?

I'm starting to think so, especially after reading this heartburn inducer from Alistair Tait of Golfweek. 

All the talk about scores reaching 20-under-par proved to be hot air. Sure the winning score was 18-under-par, just one stroke short of Woods' Open Championship record set at St. Andrews in 2000.

So what? The fact Woods emerged with the Jug proves the course passed the test. Had it been Joe Bloggs from anywhere or everywhere, then it would have been a different story.

So much for all the worry about the quirky nature of the golf course – the internal out of bounds, the three undulating greens that stuck out like old range balls in a bucket full of new Titleists.

Hoylake proved this week that it has enough natural defences to withstand the talents of the game's greatest players.

Course playing too short? No problem. Just tuck the pins.

That's what the R&A did this week. They put pins on the front of greens, had holes cut close to the side of greens so that a boldly struck putt could run off the greens.

See why I'm not feeling so good about this now.