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Greens could give golfers the blues

Citizen Staff Writer




Tiger Woods calls them “a bit tough, a little severe” after an 18-hole practice round.

Sergio Garcia, the No. 2-rated player in the world, insists designers “went “a little overboard” on the greens.

All in a week’s adventure at the Accenture Match Play Championship at the new Ritz-Carlton Golf Course, Dove Mountain course.

The greens of the Jack Nicklaus-designed course got the most attention of qualifiers during practice rounds, particularly the undulating greens in which a perfect shot might move . . . and move . . . and move until it’s 40 feet away from the hole, according to Garcia.

“Maybe a little too much slope,” he said.

“I think it’ll be interesting to see how the Tour sets up the pins,” Woods said. “Are they going to make them difficult because the green speeds aren’t that fast?

“The greens have so much pitch on them and so much slope and movement, there aren’t a lot of pins that you can go to, so each pin will be in its own little section, and they’ll probably put one or two pins in that little section.”

Phil Mickelson is sure the short game will be more critical than usual this week.

“From what I can tell around the greens, it is very severe and will require some interesting shots – bump-and-runs, flops, spinning shots,” Mickelson said before his practice round.

“It will be difficult to get the ball close to the hole, and I enjoy that. I like that challenge. I feel that gives me a slight advantage in some areas around the green, being that they’re so penalizing and difficult.

“If the short game is a big factor, which I believe it will be, I believe that’s going to play into my strengths.”

Padraig Harrington, who has won the past two majors – the British Open and the PGA Championship – said the greens will be extremely challenging.

“You’re not going to be quite sure where to miss . . . whether you should hit it short left of the pin or whether you should be aggressive up and around the pin,” Harrington said.

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