Ryder Cup: Watson given Gleneagles pin positions

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TOM Watson’s request to get pin positions from past Gleneagles tournaments has been granted as part of a campaign to cut out any secrecy in the build up to next year’s Ryder Cup.

During a visit to the Perthshire resort last month, Watson had asked during a tour of the PGA Centenary Course if he could get a look at hole locations in recent stagings of the Johnnie Walker Championship.

It wasn’t known at the time if an agreement had been made for that information to be made available, but the American captain’s wish has now been granted.

“Since Tom was here, we’ve had a discussion with Ryder Cup Europe officials and, while there seemed to be a lot of secrecy about things at Medinah, this one is going to be a lot more open,” said Scott Fenwick, the golf courses and estates manager at Gleneagles.

“If the Americans want pin charts from the last five years, they can have them. And the same goes for things like green speeds. We are happy to share what information they want.

“At the time Tom asked, I hadn’t had the discussion about that with anyone from Ryder Cup Europe and I didn’t want to pass on that information without permission. But, now that it has gone through all the proper channels, I feel happy about that situation.”

An interested spectator at last week’s Johnnie Walker Championship was Kerry Haigh, the PGA of America’s chief championship officer, who will no doubt be preparing a report for Watson on the back of his own reconnaissance trip.

“It the first time since Tom had been here since he played in the Pro-Celebrity event in the 70s,” said Fenwick. “He remembers hitting his tee shot way down the last on the King’s Course and admitted he has a lot of fond memories of this place.

“It was the first time he’d been on the PGA Centenary Course, but he thought there were a lot of good holes on it and said he felt it would be a good challenge in the Ryder Cup.”