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Last Updated: Monday, 3 April 2006, 07:14 GMT 08:14 UK
New Augusta beyond Woosie's reach
Ian Woosnam celebrates his Masters triumph
The 1991 Masters is Woosnam's only major trophy
The 1991 champion Ian Woosnam says that course changes at Augusta have lessened the appeal of the Masters for him.

The course has been stretched 155 yards to 7,445 yards for this year's event, 540 yards longer than when Woosnam won.

"The Masters is the only major I've won and the championship I hold most dear, but I don't look forward to it as much as I used to," said the Welshman, 48.

"The course changes have taken any slim chance of me challenging away and taken it beyond many of the top players."

The course just plays into the hands of the big-hitters rather than testing real golfing ability
Ian Woosnam

Ryder Cup captain Woosnam's last title came at the World Match Play in Wentworth in 2001, and he is amazed at the changes in the game since his Augusta triumph 15 years ago.

"In the mid-1990s I was the second longest driver on the tour with a wood, now I can hit the ball 15 yards longer and I'm the 127th longest driver - it's amazing," he said.

"The new metal equipment hasn't been a big benefit for me, whereas the youngsters have got the type of swing to benefit from a metal driver and hit the ball a long way.

I'm looking forward to it because I won't be having these big-hitters whacking the ball 100 yards past me
Ian Woosnam on the seniors tour

"If you can't hit the ball off the tee 300 yards or more then you'd struggle to win the Masters, the course just plays into the hands of the big-hitters rather than testing real golfing ability."

The Oswestry man, who now spends much of his time in his second home in Barbados, plans to join the American PGA's Champions Tour when he turns 50 in 18 months.

"I'm looking forward to it because I won't be having these big-hitters whacking the ball 100 yards past me off the tee," he said.

"I'll be able to really compete again on the seniors tour."




SEE ALSO
Field for the 2006 Masters
31 Mar 06 |  Golf
The BBC at Augusta
28 Mar 06 |  Golf
Ian Woosnam's career in pictures
02 Mar 05 |  Photo Galleries


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