May 30, 2006

No easy escape from bunkers at Memorial, says Nicklaus

DUBLIN, Ohio (Reuters) - Even the best bunker players can
expect a testing time at this week's Memorial tournament, says
event founder and host Jack Nicklaus.

Backed by the PGA Tour, Nicklaus has arranged for all the
bunkers on the par-72 Muirfield Village layout to be raked in
an unconventional way to make sand escapes something of a

"We spend money every year to try and deepen the bunkers
and do different things and the bunker has ceased to become a
penalty," golfing great Nicklaus told a news conference on

"Nowadays all the bunkers are so perfect, there's no
penalty any more. Bunkers are really supposed to be a penalty.

"All I'm trying to do is make the guy think he doesn't want
to be in the bunker, and it's not the place to aim for."

The 18-times major winner has introduced a long-toothed
wooden rake at Muirfield Village which creates gouges in the
bunkers to make recoveries more difficult.

"The middle of the tines are like two and a half inches,
when means two inches spread between the spread of the rake,"
Nicklaus explained.

"It gives you a little bit of a waffling in the bunker, and
it can be you can get a good lie or you might not get a good

"The (PGA) Tour liked it, the Tour supported it 100
percent, and that's what we're doing. My guess is the Tour will
continue it in the future, and then I'm sure they'll modify

The Memorial is the first PGA Tour event to introduce the
new method of raking, although similar measures have been
discussed for other tournaments on the schedule.

This year's Memorial tournament, which has attracted eight
of the world's top 10 players, starts on Thursday.

(Writing by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles)