Date: November 24, 2014
Author: Martin Blake @ The Australian

The Australian back to par 71

The Australian will play at a par 71 for the Emirates Australian Open this week after a late change by tournament organisers.

The original plan was for the course to play at par 70, with the par-five 14th hole reduced to a par-four.

But last week, after watching a string of players tackle the hole from the forward tee, Golf Australia made a change.

The 14th will remain at 459 metres, the same yardage it was planned to play at this week. The tee was brought forward a little for safety reasons.

But Trevor Herden, Golf Australia's said the 14th was too difficult as a par-four.

"We watched some players, and with the southerly wind, we feel that 70 percent of the players won't be able to carry the hill in the landing area,'' said Herden today.

"That means that they don't get any run from the downslope and it means they're hitting long irons to reach the green even with a very good tee shot. Their drives are popping up when they land on the upslope.

"So our feeling was that for 70 percent of the players in the field, it was unfair to play the 14th as a par four.''

As is common in tournament weeks, the course is tinkered with for professional players.

For instance the first hole at The Australian, a par-five for members, is played as a par four this week.