Nine-time major winner Gary Player was left 'quite sad' as a day of calm weather for the final round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship saw players take apart the Old Course at St Andrews.
As Ross Fisher shattered the course record with an 11-under-par 61, only eight of the 68 players to make the cut failed to break par and watching the action eagerly was the South African, who has for a while feared for the future of the Old Course.
Whilst delighted for all the players, it’s quite sad to see The Old Course of St Andrews brought to her knees by today’s ball & equipment.— GARY PLAYER (@garyplayer) October 8, 2017
It corresponds with comments he made to bunkered.co.uk last summer ahead of the Open at Royal Troon. Talking about future Open Championships held on the Old Course, he said: "In the years to come, you’ll see players drive the green on eight of the holes at St Andrews. Will that be an Open Championship? It’ll be laughable."
Among those in agreement with Player was former European Tour pro and now Sky Sports commentator Tony Johnstone, who tweeted:
Total agreement, GP. But are powers-that-be listening? Maybe today is a wake up call that lengthening courses is no defence. #fixtheball— Tony Johnstone (@TonyJohnstone56) October 8, 2017
However, tweets in response to Player were rather more split - with some in agreement over the ball/technology argument while others focused more towards the physical conditioning of players now.
Old Course needs wind as a defense. There was none this week. Look at scores from 2015 open with weather. Good but not like this week— Tim Heavrin (@thbtopi) October 9, 2017
In the world are being destroyed by this. Lengthening is not the answer. Change the equipment and Bring the skill back into golf— Go Golf Scotland (@GoGolfScotland) October 9, 2017
No wind. Perfect scoring conditions. Nothing to do with today's ball & equipment in my view. Records are there to be broken.— Jon Stewart (@jackpotjon) October 8, 2017
Why don't we admit that these players are fitter, stronger, more flexible, prepare better and just do things very well#theseguysaregood— George Cowan (@geordiegolfer) October 8, 2017
Nothing to do with talent then? Please be quiet.— John Brewster (@johnbrewster) October 8, 2017
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