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St Andrews toughening up for Open

Tiger Woods didn't hit into a single bunker when he won the 2000 British Open at St. Andrews.

Don't count on a repeat when The Open returns to St. Andrews this summer.

One bunker is bigger -- the famous ``Road Bunker'' on the 17th-- and 93 others have been rebuilt in the last three months.

``We made it slightly bigger than it was before -- about three feet wider,'' Gordon Moir, St. Andrews Links Trust superintendent, said Wednesday. ``And we re-contoured the ground around it so it would gather the ball a little bit more.''

Another bunker change is also subtle.

The lip on the bunker that guards the par-4 12th hole has been lowered between 8-12 inches, making it invisible from the tee. A new tee has also been built to add about 35 yards to the hole.

``When you stand on the tee now you don't see that lip,'' Moir said. ``Before you could see a black sliver of the face.''

Added greenskeeper Euan Grant: ``They wanted us to play with the golfer's mind.''

In addition to No. 12, four other tees will be different from 2000. Nos. 2, 13 and 14 will have new tees, which will add about 35-40 yards in distance. And No. 4 has been extended by 10-15 yards.

Moir said the new official yardage at St. Andrews would be about 7,200 yards, up from 7,015 in 2000. He said the course will be officially remeasured next month.

The par-5 14th will also become the longest hole in a British Open, approximately 616 yards.


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