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Ogilvy criticises changes

Last updated: 22nd February 2013

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Geoff Ogilvy: Unhappy golfer

Geoff Ogilvy: Unhappy golfer

Former US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy was critical of the changes made to the Old Course at St Andrews.

"It's disappointing, in that the whole point of it is to make us shoot a slightly higher score every five years [at The Open], and it's embarrassing - disgusting - that they're doing it for that reason," Ogilvy told Scotsman.com.

"I mean, it's hard to have the words to describe the arrogance of doing something like that, it's incredible," said the former major champion.

"It's like, 'The Mona Lisa is fading a little so let's put some colour into her face, people will enjoy it more'. Or 'The Sistine Chapel is a bit small now for the number of people who want to go through it, let's make it bigger'.

"That's probably a better analogy really, because that's what it is. The reason the sport is what it is, is because of St Andrew's. It didn't evolve to the point where it's at because of people doing what they're doing right now," said Ogilvy.

"It evolved - it didn't get designed. It came because of nature, all the balls finishing in one place, so there were lots of divots and that spot became a bunker. It's the first place that anyone should ever study when they think about golf course architecture. And the last place anyone should ever touch," added the traditionalist.

"I think the thing that really affected most people that got emotional about it was the way they went about it - making a sneaky little announcement the same weekend everyone was talking about the long-putter ban," he added.

"The bulldozers were out the next day. Surely the Old Course deserves a round table of the smartest people in golf with the best intentions and to discuss it for two years before you do anything?

"I'm sure they'll do it seamlessly and do a nice job. I've played St Andrew's 25 times and the Road Hole bunker has been different every time I've been there, so it's not like changes aren't being made there all the time, changes that a lot of people don't even know about."



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