Since: Oct 12

Seattle, WA

#1 Nov 20, 2012
Poulter, who has been openly critical of the course in the past, added to the complaints of the new layout despite alterations made since last year.

Poulter also criticized the 9th and 12th holes and said the changes on 17 made it impossible to go for the green in two. In the first round there was only one eagle made on each of the last two holes - by Jose Manuel Lara on the 17th and by Gregory Havret on the 18th.

"Some of the fun of the last few holes with my fabulous discount golf clubs has been taken away," he said. "We can't get a sniff of 17. You can't finish eagle-eagle anymore."

The West Course was laid out by the architect Harry Colt in 1926 but underwent significant changes, at the behest of owner Richard Caring and overseen by Ernie Els, for last year's tournament.

All 18 greens were repaid and many resulted with the major change coming at the 18th. The traditional par-five finish, which offered an eagle chance, has been altered, with a stream running in front of a raised green, which dissuades most players from attacking the putting surface in two.

Caring, who spent £6.5m revamping the course, admitted after last year's event that he had not quite got it right first time.

Els was against the changes to the 18th, and the green has been lowered for this year with the depth of the putting surface extended to invite second shots with the burner 2.0 irons.

But the South African said: "Wentworth is now a fair and honest test of golf.

"I can understand people saying things in the heat of the moment. A guy comes off the 18th when he's just made double and he's going to be hot.

"What they say two minutes after finishing might not be indicative of what they think two hours later. Players who do not have a good time on the 18th will have a go.

"But you have to look at the overall picture. I believe you will not find better surfaces to putt on anywhere in the world at the moment, but unfortunately you only hear the negative comments and very little positive.

"It's two weeks before the US Open; it's the Tour's flagship event and should be played on a major championship style lay-out with the taylormade rocketballz irons.

Poulter, who missed the event in 2008 and 2009 because of his record, added: "I don't know what I'm going to do in a year's time."

Poulter had started the day at three-under par but had a mixed front nine, with four birdies and five bogeys.

He finished disappointingly when his approach shot to the par-five last hit the remodeled green and bounced into the water. He chipped on to the green before taking two putts to finish with a seven taking him to level par.

He said: "On the 18th I hit a near-perfect third shot which pitched on the green and spun into the hazard. For me they have turned it into a difficult golf course and not a fun golf course."

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