Sunday, July 19, 2015

Some players angry at R and A's 7am play-on 

decision despite  45mph wind
By Olivia McMillan
The organising R and A officials' decision to restart round two of The Open early on Saturday morning has more than a few players hot under the collar.

The tournament was recommenced  at 7am, much to the chargrin of the players with many believing the course to be unplayable. The Old Course, built on the Scottish coast line, is open to the huge winds that dominate the area and have become so iconic of Links golf.
But when balls start to move on the greens the course becomes unplayable and while the R and A believed the Old Course was holding up to the winds enough for play to recommence not all players shared their beliefs.
An official was quoted as saying: "Traditionally, here at St Andrews, if the 11th  green works, then everything works, and we putted and marked balls, and we  placed them back and putted again and, while it was very windy, we did  not get one ball that moved so we took the view the course was playable.

"However, very soon after play began, balls did, in
fact, start to move, which was very different to what we had experience up to quarter to seven and that ended up in a suspension of play."

One player standing by his belief that the course was unplayable and play should never have been started was American Brooks Koepka, he caused controversy when he refused to play on.

"When you're on the most  exposed hole like 11 and the wind is pumping there with gusts (of 45 mph), if I had to guess, it's not exactly playable in my opinion," said Koepka, who is from Florida and competes on both the European Tour and
"I've never seen a ball shake like that so hard trying  to get out of the little indentation it was in, and obviously you can't
move it.

"After the second putt I thought it was ridiculous that
the ball just kept moving, kept moving away. The three times the ball was there we were having trouble, and then finally the third time I put the ball back into play it rolled back, and I had had it at that point."
While  Australia's Jason Day battled through the raging winds, he said it  might have been a different story if he had known of Koepka's protest.
"If I knew that Brooks Koepka wasn't playing then I wouldn't have played," said Day who shot a 1-under the card round.

"The day before I tried to call it on 12 tee and they said 'No, you have to keep going, keep going."
"By then I realised they were trying to keep going for Tom (Watson) to finish, so I'm ok with that, but it was a little unfortunate with how strong the wind was.
"Now looking back on it, it's easy to say we shouldn't have gone
but I understand what the R and A are trying to do, to get a 72 hole
event in and try and get this done and finished.

"It's unfortunate when you have tough conditions but they are unplayable."
Also unhappy with the decision to go out on course on Saturday morning was Australian Scott Hend, a double bogey on the par-3 8th costing him a chance at making the cut.

"We were out there and told them it was no good. I make double-bogey on the one hole that I play and I miss the cut by two shots," said Hend after his round.
"We kept saying to our rules guy that this is not fair and we shouldn't be playing."



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