Lytham St. Annes, England – Weather is normally one of the main factors in British Open Championships, and that was no different on Thursday, but not for the reason you think.
Normally, Opens are marked by strong winds and rain. The breeze was down for much of the opening round, but Muirfield's playing conditions nearly got out of hand due to sun drying out the course.
Many voiced their displeasure with the setup, especially on a few holes like the eighth. Tiger Woods rolling a putt off the 14th green was proof enough of how firm and fast the conditions got as the day went along.
While some battled the conditions, others were battling their games in the opening round.
Here's what some others had to say after the first round of the 142nd Open Championship:
- RORY MCILROY, continued his struggles on Thursday; "It just sort of got away from me. It's strange. I wish I could tell you what's wrong or what I need to do to make it right. I feel like I've got the shots. I know I'm capable of hitting them. It's a matter of being in the right place mentally to do it. It's nothing to do with technique. It's all mental. I just need to concentrate. But sometimes I feel like I'm walking around out there and I'm unconscious. I need to try to think more. I'm trying to focus and trying to concentrate. I can't really fathom it. It's a very alien feeling. It's something I've never felt before."
- TODD HAMILTON, the 2004 champion, had his best score at the British Open since the year he won: "I started this season by making three cuts on the European Tour in the Middle East. I thought it was going to be a pretty good year, but I haven't played very well since then. Looking back, I've done a lot of good things overseas in places people probably wouldn't know golf exists. I played a lot in Japan. A lot in Asia. When I won The Open, I was kind of at the end. I think I was 38, so I was close to the end of a decent career."
- JIMMY MULLEN, who shot even-par 71 and leads the race for low amateur by two: "It was a fantastic experience and something I will never forget. I was a bit nervous on the first, but the early birdies settled me down and I was all right after that. I can't really believe I shot level par in my first round of The Open, but I will take it because it was incredibly tough out there. I don't think I have ever played in firmer conditions and can't help but think the R&A will need to water the greens this evening."
- MARK O'MEARA, the 1998 Open champion, still thinks he can win this championship again: "Do I think I can win? When I play like I did today, yeah, I think I can. I didn't feel like I was 56 years old out there, I felt like I was 32. I know I haven't won a lot in the last 10, 11 years of my career, but I've been close a lot. And I know that sometimes if you just keep getting close, sooner or later they're going to open the door."
- Tweet of the day goes to KEEGAN BRADLEY: "On range after my round Miguel A Jimenez walked past me with aviator sunglasses, cigar and bottle of wine. Maybe he is the coolest man alive."