Course challenge

Chief Executive of the R&A Peter Dawson, holds the The Claret Jug outside the club house during the 2012 Open Media Day at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club, Lytham St Annes. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday April 23, 2012. The 2012 Open takes place at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club from 19th-22nd July. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Chief Executive of the R&A Peter Dawson, holds the The Claret Jug outside the club house during the 2012 Open Media Day at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club, Lytham St Annes. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday April 23, 2012. The 2012 Open takes place at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club from 19th-22nd July. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

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OPEN Championship organisers say that key changes to the course in time for this year’s event will make the battle for the Claret Jug even more challenging.

Royal and Ancient chief executive Peter Dawson said: “It is still very much Lytham, and the challenge will be very much there for the modern-day player.

“The course is two-and-a-half per cent longer.

“It is not revolutionary, but it brings it up to other Open courses in overall distance.

“The seventh, 10th and 11th have been lengthened – the course will play 200 yards longer, with only two par fives.

“Moving back the seventh green over 30 yards and making a new green, has changed the attack-line to the hole.

“On the second and the third, not only do we have the new mounding, but the holes have been lengthened.

“Overall, it is a stiffer test.

“The 15th is a beast of a par four – the 16th is a short par four, and there again we have all kinds of disasters.

“The 17th is the signature hole at Royal Lytham, with the famous Bobby Jones plaque in the bunker.

“The 18th isn’t the toughest finishing hole, but you have to get a tee shot away through all the bunkers that are very menacing off the tee.”