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R&A revamp scoring for 2004 Open

The Royal and Ancient Golf Club (R&A) has changed its recording system for the 2004Open following last year's Mark Roe incident at Royal St George's,

Briton Roe and his Swedish playing partner Jesper Parnevik were disqualified when the players signed for the wrong scores after failing to exchange cards at the start of Saturday's third round.

As a result, the number of R&A recorders will be increased from two to five for the July 15-18 championship at Royal Troon and, for the first time, players will be able to compare their scores with the official recording system.

Although players will also be reminded of their scorecard duties on the first tee, the R&A made clear on Tuesday the responsibility for checking scorecards will remain with the players.

"We're satisfied the improvements we are making will ensure that such an incident is less likely," R&A secretary Peter Dawson said at a news conference at Royal Troon Golf Club.

"But we came to the conclusion that what happened at the Open championship last year could easily happen on the (European) tour. It's simply human error."

The Royal St George's blunder prompted the R&A to consult closely with its rules committee on the best way forward.

"After the Mark Roe incident, Ivor Robson as usual will be the (Open) starter and we will ask him to hand to each player that player's card, as is done everywhere else except in the United States," David Pepper, chairman of the championship committee, said.

Pepper added Robson would remind each player on the first tee to exchange his card with one of his playing partners to mark.

"Once each group has completed the round, there will be two R&A recorders in the front office of the scoring area, along with the three players and a computer, where they can check their own scores if they so wish," he said.

"We will also have a reflector which will throw the score on to the wall, and the recorders will ask the players if they want to check their scores with our recording system."

However Denson said overall responsibility still rested with the players.

"The Mark Roe incident was a great tragedy," he said. "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."

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