Mickelson, morning wave rip Muirfield conditions

Phil Mickelson tees off on the second hole during the first round of the 142nd Open Championship at Muirfield.

Phil Mickelson tees off on the second hole during the first round of the 142nd Open Championship at Muirfield.

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Hilton Head, SC - Harbour Town Golf Links

12:01:01 AM ET. 04/17/2014




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After shooting 2-under 69 in the first round of the Open Championship, Phil Mickelson voiced his displeasure on the setup of Muirfield.

"I got really lucky because I think the R&A was really worried about the scores going too low and so they used some really funky pin placements," Mickelson told ESPN. "They used some funny spots and about a third of every green has died, it's so brown. I hit two perfect shots on (No.) 18, left it in the exact spot I wanted to leave it, and I ended up just trying to lag it (and) it still went way by.

"Like I said, I got really lucky to play early because I at least had a fighting chance."

Mickelson specifically pointed out the pin placement at No. 8, which is in the front-right portion of the green Thursday. He also said, "I don't see anyone on the afternoon with a realistic chance (at shooting 69)."

"I thought it (the setup) was a little overdone and I feel bad for these guys that have to go out and play it (this afternoon) because they're at a distinct disadvantage," Mickelson said. "It's one of those elements where luck is always a factor, but this shouldn't have been the factor. The weather didn't come in; it's fine. It's just the way it (the golf course) was presented to us."

Mickelson wasn't the only one a little upset after his first round.

Zach Johnson, who leads at 5-under 66, said he was "shocked with a couple of pin placements," citing Nos. 13 and 17. But his major concern was how dried-out and fast the course is.

"The fairways are rolling just as fast as the greens," Johnson said before adding, "Two-putting from essentially 15 feet and beyond, it's got your attention."

Ian Poulter sounded off via his Twitter account, @IanJamesPoulter: "Unfortunately the guys this afternoon will struggle with a few pin positions. 8th hole is a joke, 18th needs a windmill & clown face."

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