The Open: Graeme McDowell brands Lytham almost unplayable
GRAEME McDowell last night branded Royal Lytham as being “on the edge of unplayable” after heavy rain left a large number of the 200-plus bunkers on the Lancashire links flooded for the second round.
Pools of water were scattered all over the course yesterday morning, when the bog-like conditions in the car parks led R&A chief executive Peter Dawson to use national radio to encourage spectators to delay their arrival in the seaside town.
However, the main problem was the bunkers and despite efforts to drain them, particularly those on the 16th and 17th holes, many of them remained filled with water all day. It led McDowell, the 2010 US Open champion, to question if play should have gone ahead in such conditions.
“The course is on the verge of unplayable – a few of the bunkers out there are kind of a little bit of a question-mark,” he said. “I’m not sure if this was a normal tournament in other parts of the world if some of those bunkers would be GUR’d (made as ground under repair with players getting a free drop from them).
“I saw one in particular on the 16th green, if you hit it in there, there’s nowhere to drop and there’s a foot of water. That’s not golf – it’s not fair.” He added: “The golf course itself has remained unbelievably dry considering how much rain we’ve had and hopefully they can get the bunkers dried out overnight.”
A spokesman for the R&A said: “Obviously its not ideal but the water table is higher than the level of many of the bunkers, due entirely to the unprecedented levels of rainfall during the spring and summer. We removed some water from bunkers first thing on Friday morning in the hope that they wouldn’t refill, but due to the water table at its current height, they did.”
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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