"We want them to feel it is fair and that they can score well on it."

Lawrence Donegan reports on Open Championship media day and you can almost envision Peter Dawson rehearsing this Sandy Tatum-lite mantra in front of the mirror all morning.

"We are not seeking carnage," said the R&A's chief executive, Peter Dawson. "We are seeking an arena where the players can display their skills to the best effect."

The biggest changes, however, will be in the rough, which will not be as thick as it was in 1999, and in the width of the fairways, at least one of which was only 12 yards wide back then.

12 yards! Can't imagine why things went awry.

The course's head greenskeeper, John Philp, was accused by some players of being determined to make them suffer and of toughening up the course by adding fertiliser to the rough - claims which he dismissed yesterday as "utter baloney".

"That was just players whinging because they didn't play so well," he said. "What was never mentioned in all the criticism was how well the course was presented in the fairways and on the greens, where they were supposed to hit the ball."

That's right, and those Titanic passengers never dared to mention how good the food was either!

"If the players want to think Carnoustie is a monster just because they haven't done so well, then so be it," he said. "But we don't want them to feel like the course is a monster and that it has been tricked up. We want them to feel it is fair and that they can score well on it."

So the players were just whining because they didn't play so well, yet they are going to make sure it's not tricked up just in case?

Why do they let this man do interviews? No one learned the last time around?