Outspoken Gary Player had some sharp words for the Royal & Ancient yesterday, accusing them of making the Seniors Open at Muirfield tougher than the course Padraig Harrington and Co had to take on at Carnoustie in the main Open Championship last weekend.
The South African, back at Muirfield 48 years after his first Open triumph in 1959, said: “It’s surprised me they’ve made the seniors so much more difficult than the regular British Open. The rough must be five or six times higher. The standard of play is extremely high yet it’s projecting that the players are not all that good. We’re trying to build up the European senior tour and the wrong message has been sent out. If I’m sitting in the stands I don’t want to see bogeys, double bogeys and quadruple bogeys, I want to see birdies.”
Again the question of the ball has a great bearing on what type a certain length hole will be. Time was, and not so many years ago, when a hole 400 yards long on average ground was a good two-shot hole for the star players; now, the same hole is perhaps a drive and spade for the better class golfers. WILLIAM FLYNN