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Recording practice to change at 2004 Open

The Royal and Ancient Golf Club (R&A), sparked by last year's Mark Roe incident at Royal St George's, plans to outline a revised recording system for the 2004Open.

The rules of golf, however, will almost certainly not be adjusted over the incident and the R&A made clear the responsibility for checking scorecards will remain with the players.

"We will be making an official statement on our recording procedure for this year's Open championship at our Royal Troon news conference in late April," R&A secretary Peter Dawson told Reuters on Tuesday.

"We have consulted closely with our rules committee on this and I think, between the two, we will achieve the right balance."

Roe, a long-standing European Tour pro, and his playing partner Jesper Parnevik of Sweden were disqualified from last year's British Open following a scorecard mix-up that cost the Englishman a tie for third going into the final day.

Roe had charged into contention with a joint best-of-the-week 67, but the players signed for the wrong scores after failing to exchange cards at the start of Saturday's third round.

"Of course the rules of golf apply at all levels of the game and, at the highest level, they can sometimes seem quite unusual," Dawson added.

"But we can't take away the responsibility of the players.

"The Mark Roe incident was a great tragedy. It is the most disheartening of rules and it is also the hardest one for a player to understand.

"But it is all part of a process and that process is exactly the same for the weekly medal at the local club as it is for the Open championship.

"Yes, there was a human error with the recording system at Royal St George's, and it should have been picked up. That's most unfortunate.

"But, while there was a certain degree of blame there, there can be no transfer of responsibility. The responsibility clearly falls on the player under the rules."

The 2004Open, the third of the year's four major championships, will take place at Royal Troon, Scotland from July 15-18.

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