Notes Woods Speaks on Augusta Wie


LEMONT, Ill. -- Augusta National is getting longer. And the reigning Masters champion isnt thrilled.
Tiger Woods
Even though Tiger Woods doesn't like Augusta's latest alterations, they may help him win even more Masters titles.
Ill tell you what, theyre trying to get it to play like it used to play, four-time winner Tiger Woods said Wednesday after his pro-am for this weeks Cialis Western Open. But they fail to realize the greens are running at 12 (on the stimpmeter) now. They used to run at, what, 7 and 8?
I dont quite understand it because we havent had ' since they changed it in 2002, we have yet to have a dry Masters.
Augusta National announced Tuesday that they are adding length to six holes: Nos. 1, 4, 7, 11, 15 and 17. The additions will measure the course at 7,445 yards; an increase of 155 yards.
Nine holes were altered leading up to the 2002 Masters, which added 285 yards to the venue.
When we went into this years Masters, we thought that over par could probably win the tournament, and it rained. It softened the golf course up, and there were (still) only a handful of guys under par.
We have yet to have it hard and dry and fast for the entire week, and if we do, with these new tee locations, its more likely that over par will win.
Woods and Chris DiMarco finished regulation this year at 12-under-par 276; though, they were seven strokes clear of third place. Only 16 of the 50 players who posted four rounds finished under par.
That 12-under winning total tied the lowest number since the 2002 changes. Woods also won in 02 at 12 under. Champion Mike Weir and Len Mattiace finished regulation at 7-under 281 in 2003. And Phil Mickelson captured his first major championship at 9-under 279 last year.
I dont agree with it, but weve all got to play it, Woods said.
One thing that Woods agrees with is the right of tournament sponsors to invite players at their discretion.
Woods, who received his first PGA Tour sponsors exemption in the 1992 L.A. Open, near his Southern California home, said that he has no problem with Michelle Wie competing in next weeks John Deere Classic.
Well, if the sponsors want to get a crowd, thats why they do, Woods said. I got an exemption when I was 16, too. I understand where shes coming from.
The John Deere, which is contested the week before the British Open, is traditionally a tournament that is bypassed by the top-ranked players and overlooked by media and fans.
Two-time major champion John Daly was also asked his opinion on the matter.
Its fine with me. It doesnt bother me, he said. Thats whats great about the tournament organizers or chairmen or whatever. They can pretty much pick whoever they want.
I think shell draw a lot of attention. It helps our tour a little bit, but it helps the LPGA more than anything when she gets out here.
Reigning British Open champion Todd Hamilton agrees that sponsors can invite whomever they wish. But he added that it would probably behoove her to compete against lesser talent.
I think, and I've heard this said by other people, she needs to learn how to (win), he said. She's obviously a great talent, and I'm sure she will win many, many tournaments, and she may even win before she turns pro. She might win on the ladies' tour, but I honestly don't think it's necessary that she plays on the men's tour.
This will be Wies third foray into a PGA Tour event, but her first on the U.S. mainland. She missed the cut in each of the last two Sony Opens, played in her native Hawaii.
The 15-year-old amateur shared the 54-hole lead in last weeks U.S. Womens Open, but shot 82 on Sunday to tie for 23rd.
I was very, very proud of her, the way she played in the U.S. Open, Daly said. It was too bad about her last round. I think shes getting closer and closer (to winning).
'It would have been great if Michelle had won last Sunday at the Ladies' Open,' Hamilton said. 'She's a great talent.'
Hamilton is playing each of the next two weeks in Illinois, before heading over to Scotland to defend his British Open title.
That means he has less than a fortnight to hold onto the Claret Jug ' unless, of course, he wins again ' until he has to return it to the Royal & Ancient.
So where is one of golfs most prized possessions at the moment?
I actually have it in the trunk of my car right now, he said Wednesday during his press conference.
Hamilton is traveling with the jug since he wont be headed home before going to St. Andrews. He had it with him at Cog Hill in anticipation of showing it to a friend.
The jug, which is kept in a very protective case, was in no danger of being damaged. And it had some company in its rental car confines.
I've got a backpack and I think my rain gear, he said of his trunk contents. Could be a good commercial.
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