Phil Mickelson, who opened with a solid round of 2-under 69 despite a three-putt bogey on the final hole, said after his round that he thought "they used some really funky pin placements," saying he felt bad for the guys going out in the afternoon considering the way the course was presented to the players.
"I think the R&A was really worried about the scores going too low so they used some really funky pin placements," Phil told ESPN. "I got really lucky to play early because at least I had a fighting chance. I don't see anyone in the afternoon with a realistic chance (of shooting 69). I thought it was a little overdone and I feel bad for these guys that have to go out and play."
He wasn't the only one that thought the R&A did a poor job at setting up Muirfield. Zach Johnson, the clubhouse leader after a round of 5-under 66 said he, "was shocked with a couple of pin placements," and his thoughts were echoed by Ian Poulter, who took to Twitter to say what he thought of Thursday at the British.
Unfortunately the guys this afternoon will struggle with a few pin positions. 8th hole is a joke, 18th needs a windmill & clown face.
— Ian Poulter (@IanJamesPoulter) July 18, 2013
Of course, this isn't the first time a player has complained about the conditions of a golf course. Last month at the U.S. Open, Mickelson went after one of the USGA officials during his final round for the tees on the par-3 third hole.
But, despite what the guys are saying, everybody in the field has to play the same golf course and no matter the weird placement on No. 8 or the 18th, it is weird for everyone.
Update: Jason Dufner joined Poulter in terms of speaking up about the conditions on Twitter.
If u are watching the Open on TV, watch how silly the pros are looking today with pace of greens and hole locations . Kinda tough today
— Jason Dufner (@JasonDufner) July 18, 2013
Update #2: The R&A speaks on the conditions ...
R&A on Wed.: "The course is just as we want it. It's hard. It's fast. It's in wonderful condition. I think the players are all enjoying it."
— Jay Coffin (@JayCoffinGC) July 18, 2013
Related coverage on Yahoo! Sports:
• Phil Mickelson makes little boy's day
• Moral grandstanding at Muirfield over males-only policy
• Rory McIlroy's horrible year continues
• Why are fans betting on Tiger Woods to win the British Open?
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