2013 British Open: Per Usual, Conditions All the Talk

By Andrew Fisher
The Open Championship
Paul Cunningham-USA TODAY Sports

All you have to do is take one look at the photo above to see how brown the grass is at the 2013 Open Championship. At first glance, Muirfield in Scotland looks like it could be a random course in Arizona. But the British Open is all about less than ideal conditions. Whether it’s whipping winds, crazy high bunkers or ridiculous pin placements, the Open is always a nightmare for golfers in one way or another.

Phil Mickelson was critical of the R & A after the completion of his first round (69) on Thursday:

“I got really lucky, Tom (Rinaldi), because I think the R & A was really worried about scores going too low and so they used some really funky pin placements. Watch the guys on 8. It’s going to be funny. They used some funny spots and about a third of every green has died, it’s so brown.”

Mickelson also added that he didn’t think any golfer had a ‘realistic’ chance of matching his 69 in the afternoon due to the increasing speeds on fairways and greens with rising temperatures. However, it’s possible that Mickelson was still angry when he made these comments, because he had just three-putted on 18.

But current leader Zach Johnson even commented, “I was shocked with a couple pin placements.” Holes 8, 17 and 18 are all specifically being mentioned, so fans will have to make sure to keep an eye on them the rest of the weekend.

There’s really no other way to put it – it looks very rough out there. Dead grass is flying everywhere on fairway shots and the course is simply moving at a torrid pace. Golfers with early tee times will continue to benefit, but things are only going to get more difficult as the championship moves on.


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