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Page last updated at 21:54 GMT, Thursday, 7 August 2008 22:54 UK

Westwood critical of USPGA course

Lee Westwood
Westwood hit five bogeys and a double bogey in a birdie-free round

England's Lee Westwood complained that the Oakland Hills course for the USPGA Championship was set up unfairly after he shot a 77 in his opening round.

Westwood came into the final major of the year after tying second in last week's WGC-Bridgestone Invitational but could not repeat his form.

After his seven-over-par round he said: "I didn't do a lot wrong.

"The fairways are narrow, if you miss the semi rough by a foot you are worse off than if you miss by 20 yards."

Westwood carded five bogeys and a double bogey to finish nine shots behind leaders Robert Karlsson of Sweden and India's Jeev Milkha Singh.

He added: "You have to reward the accurate players like they did at the US Open.

606: DEBATE
Oh no...
"I had a shot on the fourth, hit a driver and because the fairways are firming up, ran through the fairway a foot into the rough and I couldn't even get a lob wedge to the green and I only had 95 yards to the front."

The biggest subject of Westwood's ire was the decision to brush back the rough towards the tees overnight.

"It is a difficult course anyway with the greens and the pin positions to protect it," he said.

"I am not sure you need rough as long as it is and you certainly don't need to sweep it back towards the tee the night before the tournament when we have played it as it is in the practice rounds.

"I can't recall it happening before and can't think of a reason why they would do it other than to irritate the players as that is all it does.

"I asked my partners if I was out of order and they said 'no, if you are slightly off line you are crucified'.

"They are sucking the fun out of the major championships when you set it up like that."

Although Sweden's Robert Karlsson hit a two-under-par 68, Colin Montgomerie was another player to struggle.

The Scot hit a 76, while England's Ross Fisher also took 77 and countrymen Oliver Wilson and Steve Webster carded rounds of 78.

American Hunter Mahan, who has been in the news after comparing Ryder Cup players to "slaves" in a magazine interview, faired even worse with an 11-over-par 81.


see also
USPGA photos
07 Aug 08 |  Golf


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