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Medinah will host longest ever Major

The world's top players will have to tackle the longest course in major history when Medinah Country Club hosts this year's U.S. PGA Championship, organisers said on Tuesday.

A 7,401-yard layout when it staged the 1999 U.S. PGA Championship won by Tiger Woods, the par-72 No. 3 Course at Medinah has been stretched to 7,561 for the August 17-20 tournament.

Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin was previously the longest major venue, playing 7,514 yards off the back tees when it hosted the 2004 U.S. PGA Championship.

"When the players return here, they're going to really see a different golf course, a golf course that really has more definition," course architect Rees Jones said in a statement issued by the PGA of America.

In a restoration project which began in 2002, Jones removed 300 trees, added new tees or enlarged existing ones, rebuilt some of the greens and redesigned several greenside bunkers.

"We have classic old-style sculptured bunkers which have much more character," Jones added.

"The bunkers are deeper, the green contours and sizes of the seven greens that we did are complimentary to the greens that were originally here. I'm very pleased with the results."

Woods clinched the second major victory of his career by a shot at Medinah in 1999, holding off a late charge by Spaniard Sergio Garcia.

Garcia fired a closing 71 that featured a stunning second shot from behind a tree on the 16th hole.

Medinah Country Club has also staged three U.S. Opens -- in 1949, 1975 and 1990 -- and the 1988 U.S. Senior Open.

World number two Phil Mickelson, who won his third major victory at the U.S. Masters on Sunday, will defend his U.S. PGA Championship crown at Medinah.

The American left-hander, who triumphed at the weekend on the third longest layout in major history, won the 2005 U.S. PGA Championship at Baltusrol by a stroke.



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