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Graeme McDowell questions need for change at St Andrews

US Open champion Graeme McDowell
McDowell predicts "carnage" scores if the wind gets up

Graeme McDowell says changes to St Andrews's famous 17th hole may reduce the drama of this year's Open by forcing players to play cautiously.

The tee at the Road Hole has been moved back 30 yards, an alteration the US Open champion has questioned.

"I don't think it's bad. Was it necessary? Don't know," he said.

"I'm going to play it conservatively. It's a TV sport, it's all about people enjoying the game and seeing some drama, but I'm going to lay up."

The hole is now a 495-yard par four, and the Northern Irishman said if the wind got up, it could see some horrendous scores.

606: DEBATE

"It's going to be absolute carnage," said McDowell, who became the first British player in 40 years to win the US Open when he triumphed at Pebble Beach this year.

This year's Open, the 139th staging of the tournament, runs from 15-18 July at St Andrews' Old Course.

It will be the seventh time McDowell has taken part in the competition, with his best performance being an 11th place finish in 2005.

Having taken time to visit St Andrews, the 30-year-old is looking forward to another tilt at success in a major.

"Certainly, I didn't see any hidden tricks on the golf course and it was definitely firm and fast and it's going to be really, really linksy," he added.

"I think they want to get it brown and really running, so it's going to be very interesting - not much rough."

In last year's Open, Stewart Cink beat Tom Watson in a play-off at Turnberry after the five-time champion had missed a putt to win the trophy for a sixth time on the final green.

Tiger Woods, favourite to win this year's event, secured the second of his three open triumphs when the Open was last staged at St Andrews in 2005.



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see also
Clarke chases Open spot after win
07 Jul 10 |  Golf
Kim and Toms withdraw from Open
06 Jul 10 |  Golf
Injured Westwood making progress
08 Jul 10 |  Golf
Poor weather hits Champions event
14 Jul 10 |  Golf
McDowell in historic US Open win
21 Jun 10 |  Golf
Cink dashes Watson's Open dreams
19 Jul 09 |  Golf
Golf on the BBC
01 Jul 11 |  Golf


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