Goosen rues St Andews change
Retief Goosen believes there was no need to change the 17th hole at St Andrews for next year’s Open.
Retief Goosen believes there was no need to change the 17th ‘Road Hole’ at St Andrews for next year’s Open.
One of the most famous holes in the sport is being lengthened from 455 yards to 490, with the tee going across the other side of the disused railway line.
The South African, who finished fifth in the last Open at the Home of Golf four years ago, said: “I hope they keep the forward tees because if we play into the wind we won’t reach it in two.
“I don’t know why they wanted to do that. It’s such a great hole anyway – so much can happen on it.
“Next year we’re going back to the smaller grooves as well, so it’s going to become even more difficult to hit that green.
“I don’t think it’s the right thing. If you play it downwind then you’re hitting a driver and seven or eight-iron, but into the wind I’ve played it when you couldn’t reach the green.
“Depending on conditions it could be a good change or a bad change.”
Padraig Harrington, on the other hand, was very much in favour of the change and said: “(That is) exactly what they should do.
“When I stood there on the proposed tee (during the Dunhill Links two weeks ago) I actually can’t tell you what language I used, but it was intimidating and that’s what 17 is meant to be.
“That would be my thinking – make it a bigger hole, but give it a little bit more room.”
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