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  Wednesday, 19 July, 2000, 14:26 GMT 15:26 UK
Players force re-think over bunkers
Darren Clarke
Clarke is not the only one who has been bunkered
Officials at the Royal and Ancient have had their groundstaff rake the various bunkers around the course following criticism from Darren Clarke and other players that they were too severe.

R&A Peter Dawson admitted a number of leading contenders had complained about the difficulty of the 112 sand obstacles on the Old Course.

"We had some comments and we like to think we listened to them," he conceded.

Among those who were leading the complaints included Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke who was having problems getting out of the bunkers.

"I think they are too severe," said Clarke.

"They have gone a bit silly with them, with the severity of the faces. You should always be able to at least get out but there are some here where if you get under the lips you cannot get a shot.


They're very, very, very difficult, toughest I've ever seen
Jack Nickalus

"I understand that standards are getting better, the technology is improving and that they want to keep scores down. I agree with trying to make it difficult but I think they have gone too far.

"With the course playing as fast as it is balls aren't going to trickle in, they're going to run in and get lodged in unplayable positions."

Former Open champion Jack Nickalus was in full agreement with the Ulsterman.

"They're very, very, very difficult, toughest I've ever seen," said Nicklaus.

"Nobody is going to hit any ball out of any fairway bunker onto the green. You're going to spend a lot of time in the bunkers if you get in one."

Reshaped

The bunkers which had been reshaped for the Championships were not to the liking of another former champion and St Andrews winner, Nick Faldo.

"Unbelievable. It is a wall. They are absolutely incredible. Even playing out backwards is a hell of a good shot if you get a lip your way both ways," said Faldo.

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Championship committee chairman, Hugh Campbell
"We've got exactly the golf course we asked for"
The Open at St.Andrews
20th - 23rd July
See also:

19 Jul 00 | The Open
19 Jul 00 | The Open
19 Jul 00 | The Open
19 Jul 00 | The Open
19 Jul 00 | The Open
19 Jul 00 | The Open
18 Jul 00 | The Open
18 Jul 00 | The Open
18 Jul 00 | The Open
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