Thursday, July 14, 2016

European Tour apologizes for setup at windy Scottish Open

INVERNESS, SCOTLAND – JULY 07: General View of AAM Scottish Open flags during the first round of the AAM Scottish Open at Castle Stuart Golf Links on July 7, 2016 in Inverness, Scotland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

The European Tour knew it would be windy on Thursday for Day 1 of the Scottish Open, but they didn’t know winds would blow as strongly as they did at host Castle Stuart.

Instead of the 30 mph wind forecast, winds in excess of 40 mph arrived and remained throughout the day. The scores reflected the difficulty of the weather, with only 20 players breaking par. Of the 78 players in the afternoon wave, 15 didn’t even break 80.

Officials with the European Tour came under criticism from the players for not modifying the setup to better accommodate the weather conditions. In particular, the 600-yard par-5 finishing hole played directly into the wind, making it play closer to 800 yards and leading to a lot of double bogeys or worse.

The tour issued a statement, taking responsibility for not better considering the wind.

“We received a number of concerns from players regarding the course setup for the first round of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open,” the statement read, according to Golfweek. “We acknowledge we should have moved a number of tees forward to accommodate the strong winds which were forecast for Thursday’s first round. We didn’t, and accept responsibility in that regard.”

Scott Hend and Felipe Aguilar share the first-round lead, each shooting 3-under 69 in the relatively more calm morning wave.

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