The Loop

About That Crowd On 18 ...

One last thought on Carnoustie: A number of people have asked what the heck all the marshals and officials were doing inside the out-of-bounds fence just left of the 18th green, suggesting that it was akin to baseball umpires putting themselves in play by standing in fair territory down the foul lines.

After all, they say, John Senden's 3-wood approach to the 18th on Saturday hit the grandstand right of the green, sending the ball ricocheting left and heading out-of-bounds before it hit an O.B. stake and stayed in. Imagine if Padraig Harrington or Sergio Garcia had missed an approach left on Sunday, only to be saved by a ball plunking an official. Better yet, imagine if they had nailed the same official who was hit by Andres Romero's drive at the 12th hole, deflecting his ball into the gorse and resulting in a double bogey.

As if enough strange stuff hasn't happened at Carnoustie.

Carnoustie's 18th is wedged in by the first hole and grandstand right of the green, the hotel behind it, and the Burnside course/O.B. fence/grandstand left of the green. Not to mention the Barry Burn in front.

No wonder it's so claustrophobic. And crowded.

-- Mike O'Malley