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July 18, 2013

Peter Dawson


HAZEL IRVINE: It's a hot day, tempers are fraying clearly. What's your response to some of the criticisms leveled at some of these pin positions.
PETER DAWSON: We do have some fantastic weather, unusual, really. It seems like we got links conditions like this far more often than we've had them in recent years. But we've got the conditions here that we really like to have, hard, fast, running conditions. And we set up the golf course to test the players' course management strategy, I think as much as anything. I heard criticisms for example of the 17th hole where it is actually playing like the 17th hardest hole in the course right now. But you really have to hit your second shot or your approach beyond the hole to have a sensible putt coming back. If you leave your second shot and your third shot short of that flag stick, you're going to have great difficulty getting down in two from there. Similarly on the 18th we're looking for players to have the hit the fairway off the tee and then just carry the cross bunkers -- as a player out there I'm looking at has done now -- in order to leave an uphill putt to the flag stick. If you're out of position and your ball goes beyond the 18th, you're going to have difficulty getting down in two. Players are well under par on that hole, which the course is playing very short. We're obviously very conscious of player comment and we'll take that into account tonight. When we decide how greenskeeping staff overnight is going to set up the course tomorrow. We're very happy with the scoring, it's about what we would expect, 5-under par is about where we'd expect it to be. A good number of players under par. I do understand that some players get very frustrated. Ian Poulter, I know, for example bogeyed three out of the last four holes. His comments will be taken and we'll have a look at it. But we're still very satisfied with the course. It's playable, but indeed very testing.
HAZEL IRVINE: The greens staff have been watering. You've been making sure that it's a really difficult balance action I'm sure, to find the speed that you want, but also trying to manage these very tricky conditions, that you're obviously faced with.
PETER DAWSON: Well, it is. We're very reliant on two things: the science of the Sports Turf Research Institute. We're doing measurements day and night of water content, of greens, green speeds, trueness, smoothness, hardness, and so on, so we have the science. And also we have the great experience of Colin Irvine and his team here at Muirfield, who have a great track record of producing this course in wonderful conditions. And a combination of those two is I think giving us the right results, very testing, tough. I guess it's The Open Championship.
HAZEL IRVINE: Indeed. In your view, right now it is far from unplayable.
PETER DAWSON: Far from unplayable, but we do hear player comment and we're not so insular as to ignore it.
HAZEL IRVINE: Okay. Peter thanks so much, I'm sure you and Colin and the team will be discussing at length the measures you'll take over the coming hours, but we appreciate you coming by.
PETER DAWSON: Certainly.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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