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Cop the British Open pot penalties: Ogilvy
Darren Walton
15:48 AEST Sat Jul 21 2012

As others moaned, Australia's major champion Geoff Ogilvy said British Open contenders should suck it up and cop the consequences for straying into Royal Lytham and St Annes's notorious bunkers.

Debate rages at the Open over whether or not competitors should be punished - officially with automatic one-stroke penalties - for taking unplayable lies when their shots land in water-logged pots.

The legendary links venue in Lancashire is dominated by 206 bunkers that define the course and provides the world's greatest players with one of the most searching tests in golf.

But with England's summer of rain soaking the course - and some pots - suddenly victims of errant shots are whinging and whining.

In golf everywhere in the world, bunkers are considered hazards.

So if the ball is deemed unplayable in a bunker, the only option is to take a drop no closer to the hole - including if the ball is in water, which happened to many of the game's biggest stars during the second round of the Open.

On the 15th during Friday's second round, US PGA champion Keegan Bradley found himself in the predicament of taking a drop out of a wet bunker - but at the back edge of the sand and needing to hit a shot with his feet outside the bunker.

"I had no choice but to play it," Bradley said.

He wasn't alone.

Phil Mickelson had to take relief from a bunker just short of the first green, while Rory McIlroy's ball was submerged on another hole.

Ogilvy, though, said players needed to adapt to the unusual conditions, accept the challenge and treat the bunkers like a water hazard.

"Treat them as if they've got stakes around them," Ogilvy said.

"You probably should treat them like that, anyway, because they're pretty much a one-shot penalty, anyway."

The two halfway front-runners of the Open had a novel way of approaching the bunker challenge: avoid them and prosper.

American Brandt Snedeker did not land in one pot in the first 36 holes and was rewarded with the halfway lead.

Australian Adam Scott only hit into two bunkers during the opening two rounds and not surprisingly found himself in outright second spot, one shot behind Snedeker.


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