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Lee Westwood Unhappy With Course Setup
Written By: Golf International on Aug 08 2008
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Lee Westwood of England plays his tee shot on the 14th hole during round one of the 90th PGA Championship at Oakland Hills Country Club on August 7, 2008 in Bloomfield Township, Michigan. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)Lee Westwood lambasted organisers for an unfair course set-up after sliding to a seven-over-par 77 in the U.S. PGA Championship opening round on Thursday.

Westwood said the lush rough at Oakland Hills Country Club was too long and penalised players who narrowly missed the fairway.

“I didn’t do a lot wrong,” he told reporters after carding five bogeys and a double-bogey six at the 16th. “The fairways are narrow and unfortunately if you miss the semi (rough) by a foot you are worse off than if you miss by 20 yards.

“You have to reward the accurate players like they did at the U.S. Open,” added Westwood referring to the graduated rough at Torrey Pines two months ago.

“If you missed a shot, you had half a chance. Here I had a shot on the fourth, hit a driver and because the fairways are firming up, it ran through the fairway a foot into the rough.

“I couldn’t even get a lob wedge to the green and I only had 95 yards to the front. That’s the sort of thing you are battling against out there.”

Westwood, whose third place at Torrey Pines was his best result in a major, also criticised the way the rough at Oakland Hills had been brushed back toward the tee on each hole before the start of the tournament.

“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,” said the 35-year-old Englishman.

“It is five inches long, why brush it back at us? It makes no sense to me. It is a difficult course anyway. People want to see birdies and they have not seen me make any.”

Asked what needed to be done to create a fairer test, Westwood replied: “Cut all the rough out.

“I asked my partners if I was out of order and they said: ‘No, if you are slightly off line you are crucified’.

“In my opinion it (the rough) is too thick around the greens as well. It takes the skill away from chipping. You don’t need it.

“This course is 7,395 yards long, the greens are firm and the pins are tucked away. They are sucking the fun out of the major championships when you set it up like that.

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