Golf / 123rd Open: R & A rejects criticism

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LEE TREVINO'S criticism that Open courses have become too easy has been rejected by championship officials. 'Low scoring does not particularly worry us as long as the best players win,' Michael Bonallack, the Royal and Ancient secretary, said yesterday.

Trevino, who missed the half-way cut, claimed: 'We no longer play true links golf. There is so much water being poured on to fairways we have a perfect lie every time and watering also helps keep the ball on the fairway.'

But Bonallack responded by saying that the watering system was hardly used and that it was rain that made the course softer.

'Everybody said Turnberry was easy, but in the last round it's the pressure that gets to the players. Winning the title means so much. It's not so much the course as their own failings which costs players the chance of the title.'

Neil Roach, the outgoing chairman of the championship committee, added: 'I can't remember a more exciting finish than this one.'

Nick Price's win has put him above Nick Faldo and into second place in the Sony World Rankings. Sweden's Jesper Parnevik, second at Turnberry, is up 31 places to 37th.

LEADING WORLD RANKING: 1 G Norman (Aus) 21.05pts; 2 N Price (Zim) 19.95; 3 N Faldo (GB) 17.56; 4 B Langer (Ger) 16.39; 5 F Couples (US) 13.48; 6 J-M Olazabal (Sp) 12.39; 7 E Els (SA) 11.39; 8 D Frost (SA) 11.15; 9 C Montgomerie (GB) 11.12; 10 P Azinger (US) 10.33; 11 I Woosnam (GB) 9.55.