A haven for gamblers Macau may be. But golfers of the gambling variety can expect a rough ride in this week's inaugural US$200,000 Macau Open. With the Macau Golf and Country Club having undergone a remarkable transformation over the past two months, the 6,662-yard layout is poised to bare its teeth to big-name imports Nick Faldo and Vijay Singh and all Omega Asian PGA Tour players. 'It's been specifically set up for the professionals,' said resident professional Rick Blackie, who, along with course superintendent Richard Donaldson and general manager Mike Saye, has masterminded and overseen the facelift. 'We've turned it from a members' course into a tournament course,' said Blackie, referring to the addition of half-a-dozen 'tiger' tees, the narrowing of the fairways and the growth of the rough. The result is a course that will prove a severe, but fair, test of skill and will, inevitably, see the cream rise to the top - particularly if the wind whips in from the South China Sea. Although the Hiroshi Ikeda-designed layout is short by modern-day standards, Blackie believes a combination of wind and punitive rough, as deep as four inches in some places, will ensure the low-scoring feast predicted by many will not materialise. Based on his outstanding achievements in an illustrious playing career spanning more than two decades, six-time Major winner Faldo will set out this morning as the favourite - despite a recent downturn in his performances. Among those relishing the chance to lock horns with Faldo and Singh are Chinese number one Zhang Lianwei and Thailand's Prayad Marksaeng, who have been paired with Faldo for the opening two days.