Reaction to Love's redesign of Forest Oaks Country Club could go a long way toward the Chrysler Classic of Greensboro regaining some stature on the PGA Tour.
He's already got one thumbs up.
'I just think it's a neat thing to see one of our best players come in to redo a golf course and do it the right way,' defending champion Rocco Mediate said Wednesday, a day before the opening round. 'Some of our best golf courses have been completely destroyed trying to make them harder.'
Love didn't add much length to the 1962 Ellis Maples design, but opened up the course some by moving around several tee boxes while redesigning all 18 greens.
The greens were widely criticized after they were redone by Fuzzy Zoeller in the early 1990s as many players dropped the Greensboro stop from their schedules.
Without the big names, the tournament struggled in the spring and was eventually moved to the fall this year to try to spur interest.
A total of four players in the top 10 world rankings played here in the last four years. This time, five of the world's best players are in the field.
'It flows a lot better now,' U.S. Open champion Jim Furyk said about the course. 'Before, it was kind of old style tee-to-green and then you had a relatively new era, a new style to the greens. It just didn't look like they went together or matched all that well.
'Now the golf course looks as though it has sat here for quite a long time. It doesn't look like it has been manufactured.'
Love said he would take pride if his redesign helped restore interest to the tour's fourth oldest event.
'It's all been positive, but I told my brother that nobody is going to walk up to us and tell us they don't like the golf course,' Love said. 'But I've seen some genuine enthusiasm from the players.
'Everybody was down on the greens. We tried to put them back to something more traditional.'
The start of the redesign was delayed in November because of rain, which turned out to be an omen.
Love and his crew had to work through three ice storms and 72 inches of rain to try to get grass to grow and make the course playable for the fall.
While the rough is thin, players said the greens and fairways are nearly perfect.
'The fact that this golf course is as good as it is a miracle,' Mediate said.
'This first week will be important because now the players will tell the other guys who didn't come how good it is,' Mediate added. 'Whether the scores are 4-under or 40-under, it doesn't really matter. It's quite challenging.'
For former Wake Forest star Billy Andrade, the course reminded him of another classic in the state.
'It's got a Pinehurst No. 2 feel now,' he said.
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