Players were thinking about hitting drives over heads of spectators to shorten hole but chiefs deemed plot too ‘dangerous’
OPEN bosses were forced into a late rule change after they feared fans could be hit by drives… and not even wayward ones!
Aussie Jason Day’s caddie Col Swatton asked golf chiefs if players could hit to the tenth fairway from the ninth tee.
But doing so would require pros to launch their shots over a packed grandstand behind the eighth green roughly 100 yards from the ninth tee, sparking a “dangerous” health and safety nightmare.
There was also the added threat of players being whacked by incoming balls as they walked down the par-four tenth, which plays in the opposite direction to the ninth.
Players were thinking about smacking their shots down the tenth because it reduces the length of the 416-yard par-four ninth.
The last hole on the front nine is a left-to-right dog-leg and Day said players would have a much shorter shot hitting into the green from the tenth.
But R&A bosses rightly declared the tenth an internal out of bounds, meaning any player who hit a shot on there from the ninth would be hit with a two-shot penalty.
R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said: “We were made aware that an option being considered was to take the tee shot at nine down the tenth fairway.
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“But we’ve been out there with our health and safety people, and the only way you can get the ball onto the tenth fairway is to drive it straight over the top of the grandstand, and then bring the ball back across to the ninth green, across two opposing groups of people.
“We felt that that was just dangerous.
“The rule has been brought in to protect players and fans.
“We were concerned about the safety issue. There is no way to get the ball into the tenth fairway over than straight over the top of the grandstand.”
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