"I believe they were necessary"

masterslogo.gifFrom Ron Sirak's Golf World profile of new Masters Chairman Billy Payne:

The course changes under Johnson--criticized by, among others Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, who are members and winners of a combined 10 Masters--get Payne's approval. "I believe they were necessary," he says. "This course should never be reduced to driver-pitching wedge as it was becoming." He adds, however, a rolled-back Masters ball is still possible if another distance explosion occurs.

A follow-up for Wednesday's press conference: Do you believe the "second cut" and added trees are integral to preventing the course from being reduced to a driver-wedge design?

I know, I know...he won't say.