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Ben Crenshaw
If he had his way, course co-designer Ben Crenshaw would like to do a little makeover on the green of the par-4 eighth hole. (Getty Images)

Crenshaw's course design gets positive feedback, even from Crenshaw

Ben Crenshaw, who co-designed the Colorado Golf Club layout, thought the greens were fair and the conditions, though blustery, were conducive for scoring on Thursday and was pleased that many of his fellow competitors found the course interesting.

PARKER, Colo. (AP) -- Ben Crenshaw played an impeccable round of golf and yet he couldn't help finding a few flaws.

Not in his game, but on his course. That was simply the fastidious architect in him coming out.

Crenshaw shot even-par 72 Thursday in the first round of the Senior PGA Championship at the Colorado Golf Club, a course he co-designed with Bill Coore.

The two-time Masters champion thought the greens were fair and the conditions, though blustery, were conducive for scoring, which is why leaders Robin Freeman and Bernhard Langer were each able to shoot 6-under 66s.

Crenshaw wished, however, that the fairways weren't so soft due to watering and the rough, at least in spots, not so deep.

Of course, that's not his decision. Those kinds of things are left up to The PGA of America.

"We didn't build the course that way," explained Crenshaw, who had two birdies and two bogeys. "This should be a running, bouncing course. That's why we built it the way we did."

If he had a mulligan from a design standpoint, though, Crenshaw would use it on the size of the green at No. 8, a drivable 309-yard par 4. He wishes it was a little wider, especially up top.

That's something he would like to change, if the private club is willing.

"It was in our minds and it was a tough green to build," Crenshaw said. "There's just not quite enough room up there."

So far, the feedback on the course from his peers has been favorable, which means the world to Crenshaw.

"I just hope they enjoy playing it," Crenshaw said. "I hope it's interesting."

Langer definitely thought so. Then again, after the round he turned in, he wasn't about to nitpick.

"Neat design. Every hole is different, it's not boring," Langer said. "Some of the greens are pretty severe, especially when the wind blows."

That's out of Crenshaw's control. But those gusting winds have been quite the topic, whipping around all week.

"The wind's hard," said Fred Couples, who played in the same group as Langer and finished three shots behind him. "But the course played nice."

Crenshaw couldn't agree more. His baby came through, even in breezy conditions.

"It's been fun playing and practicing this week and seeing what (the course) will do under really harsh conditions," Crenshaw said. "I sure enjoyed building it."
 

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