17th has been 'messed up' - Westwood
[.[views].], BY ClubCall
Lee Westwood is the latest player to voice his discontent at Royal Birkdale's controversial 17th green, saying it has been "messed up".
Speaking ahead of this week's Open at the Lancashire links - the first time it has been held at the course since 1998 - the Englishman, who is among the favourites for the title, stated: "It's completely out of character with the rest of the greens.
"I think everybody has accepted that something has gone wrong with it. It's not to the standard of the rest of the greens. The rest of them are brilliant."
The putting surface has been rebuilt since 1998's Open Championship and it is now multi-tiered and has a significant slope.
American Phil Mickelson had previously gone on record as saying it was "much more dramatic than the other greens", while Australia's world number three Geoff Ogilvy was one of the first to heavily criticise it, believing the par-five hole could prove to be a decisive factor in who eventually prevails.
"I haven't been here before and so never saw the old green, but this one stands out more than a bit," said Ogilvy. "If Birkdale were a one-hole course this green would be out of character with the rest of the course. It's out of character with the land, it's out of character with the hole. You can see from 250 yards away that something has gone wrong.
"Sadly, it could be a decisive factor in who wins the championship. You could get some really crazy putts going on there. Funky bounces, too."