Former Open champion Paul Lawrie has criticised the R&A for their handling of the Open championship at St Andrews.
In his weekly Press and Journal column, Lawrie, pictured left, has revealed the locker room unrest which golf’s governing body caused by forcing players to take to the course in unplayable conditions on Saturday morning.
The decision to allow some players not to play in the howling wind while others were told by rules officials to play caused anger among the players and criticism of the game’s governing body.
Lawrie said: “When the players kicked off on the 11th and refused to play everyone should have been called in.
“It was a poor decision to start play on Saturday morning and if any lesson can be learned from this year’s Open championship it is if conditions make part of the course unplayable then nobody should be asked to play.
“Disbelief set in among our group as it dawned on us we were playing in terrible conditions while other groups weren’t.
“That disbelief soon turned to anger. I hit five shots in total on Saturday morning before we were called back in.
“But there were five groups of players on the 11th hole, 15 players in total, waiting to play the hole when the horn went to signal play was suspended.”
Lawrie’s revelations come as more of the game’s leading players confirmed their place in the Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play at Murcar Links next week.
Scotland’s leading golfer Marc Warren, who played with Lawrie at St Andrews on Sunday, has confirmed his place in the field and will be joined by Lawrie’s fellow Aberdonian Richie Ramsay, Ryder Cup players Nicolas Colsaerts and Edoardo Molinari, and European Tour winner James Morrison.
The 64-man field will contest the inaugural title from July 30 to August 2.
Lawrie said: “I was out at Murcar Links today to have a look and it’s all coming together well.
“We’re still a week away but it’s already shaping up to be an exciting week.”
Paul Lawrie column – Pages 52 and 53