Larry Bohannan talks to Rees Jones about all things Rees. On Torrey Pines:
Not everyone is going to like the course. The ones who don't play as well won't like it as much," Jones said. "I think in the case of Torrey Pines, the players are going to be enthralled by it."This next part really speaks to why we need drug testing since we know this is all thanks to the extra lifting:
Specifically, Jones said the players should like the Open greens at Torrey Pines far more than the Opens in recent years.
"(Torrey Pines) doesn't have the pitch to the greens like Oakmont did (this year)," Jones said. "So if you get above the hole you really get a chance to make the putt a little bit more."
Jones said in his research and work on renovating the courses for Opens and PGA Championships, his understanding grows of how good top professional players have become.I found this odd:
"We did Congressional over for 1997 (the Open), and now we are having to add a lot of tees for 2011," Jones said. "Atlanta Athletic Club, we did for the 2001 PGA. For 2011 we had to push the bunkers out, re-bunker the course and add length."
Jones says statistics back up the need for stretching golf courses out for major championships.
"From the 1997 Open (at Congressional) to the 2005 Booz Allen Classic, when you used the Shot Link (measuring system), the players hit it 49 yards longer over that period," Jones said. "In championship golf, we had to upgrade the golf course. We just took Oakland Hills back 350 yards. And now it is a challenge for these guys."
Scores are almost guaranteed to be more under par at Torrey Pines than at other recent Open courses, but for a reason Jones himself discounts.
"They are going to play it a par-71 at Torrey. The last couple of years it has been a par-70," Jones said.
Now, according to my PGA Tour media guide, they've always played Torrey at par-72. Eh, minor details!
"So it will be a chance to be more under par, which doesn't mean much.
"Still, the greens at Torrey are challenging. There can be this little terrace in the back that can be hard to access because they spin the ball so much."
Having the high-profile nickname of the Open Doctor and having his work critiqued and criticized by the game's best players isn't a burden, Jones believes.
"It's very beneficial. I've got three of the next four Opens, I've got three of the next four PGAs," Jones said. "The scrutiny of the golfing world is intense. If you do a good job, you get a lot of credit."