Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Players surprised by lack of rough at Quail

The twist to this year's Quail Hollow Championship -- beyond the name change -- is the course set-up.

Specifically, the rough -- or lack thereof.

Club and tournament officials decided to go with two-inch rough this year which should encourage aggressive play by players who miss fairways, provided their shots aren't far enough off line to skitter through the rough and into pine straw. It's a deviation from previous years when the rough was thicker, taking away the opportunity to play at some greens if players caught bad lies in the thick stuff.

Jim Furyk said the rough is the shortest he can remember playing anywhere other than Harbour Town. Not that it's a bad thing.

"If they get these greens firm and fast, I don't think it matters if there's rough out there or not, it's going to be really difficult," Furyk said. "But it definitely a lot different set-up than we've seen in the past."

Tiger Woods echoed the sentiment, saying he's never seen the rough this short at Quail Hollow.

"It just means that it's going to run," Woods said. "I've never seen the fairways this fast before. Balls that are hit borderline on the fairway aren't going to stay in the fairway and they're going to run. Then guys who land the ball in the rough are actually going to run into the pine needles."