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Carnoustie will be longest ever Open course

Tiger Woods will be confronted by the longest course in British Open history when he bids for a hat-trick of wins in the championship at Carnoustie in July.

Royal & Ancient (R&A) organisers said on Tuesday the par-71 Scottish layout would be extended to 7,421 yards -- 60 yards longer than the record set at Carnoustie eight years ago.

Three holes have been changed.

The par-four third has been redesigned, new bunkering brought in on the long sixth and subtle recontouring carried out by the driving area at the par-four 17th.

The course will have two par-fives and three par-threes but probably the most testing aspect will be the seven par-fours measuring 460 yards-plus.

R&A chief executive Peter Dawson hinted it would be less difficult than 1999 when the high rough led to the course being dubbed 'Car-nasty'.

"We are not seeking carnage," Dawson told reporters. "We are seeking an arena where the players can display their skills to the best effect.

"Carnoustie deserves its reputation as the toughest course we use but this year we hope to achieve fast-running conditions."

Woods, who won the prized Claret Jug at St Andrews in 2005 and Hoylake last year, starts the defence of his trophy on July 19 although he is willing to skip the tournament if it clashes with the birth of his first child.

"If she (Swedish wife Elin) is going to have it during the week of the Open, I just don't go," the world number one said earlier this year.

Elin is due to give birth the same month.

The third major championship of the season returns to Carnoustie for the first time since Britain's Paul Lawrie beat Frenchman Jean van de Velde and American Justin Leonard in a playoff eight years ago.

May 2, 2007


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