Mickelson tells R&A to check ego at the door

Associated Press  |  Last updated July 18, 2013
Along with trying to win more majors, Phil Mickelson is giving some advice on how to run them. For the second straight round in a major, Mickelson had a few choice words for the way the golf course was set up. In the final round of the U.S. Open at Merion, he was caught on camera turning to U.S. Golf Association executive director Mike Davis and questioning why the par-3 third hole was 274 yards into the wind. He was a little more coy with the R&A on Thursday for some hole locations on greens that even at midday were brown and brutally quick. ''We've got (to) let go of our ego sometimes and just set the course up the way the best players can win,'' Mickelson said after a solid start of 2-under 69. When a reporter started a question by saying, ''You said you have to let go of your ego,'' Mickelson interrupted him. ''I wasn't referring to me,'' he said. Muirfield has been firm and fast since the weekend, with dry conditions in the forecast for the rest of the week. The R&A was turning on sprinklers for a brief time in the evening to keep the speed of the course from getting out of control. R&A chief executive Peter Dawson saw no problem with the course. ''We have the conditions here we really like to have - hard, fast, running conditions - and we've set up the course to test the players' course management strategy as much as anything,'' Dawson said on the BBC. ''It is part of the links course's defenses in this type of weather.'' The hole location getting most of the attention was on the 441-yard 8th hole, in which Mickelson said it was tough to get chips or some putts within six feet of the hole. He also mentioned the 18th being on the edge of a slope. Ian Poulter weighed in on Twitter after he opened with a 72. ''Unfortunately the guys this afternoon will struggle with a few pin positions. 8th hole is a joke, 18th needs a windmill & clown face,'' Poulter tweeted. Mickelson was a little more reserved in his comment. ''I got very lucky to play early today because as the day wore on and we got to the back nine, about a third of every green started to die and become brown,'' he said. ''And the pins were very edgy, on the slopes. The guys that played early had a huge, huge break. Because even without any wind, it's beyond difficult.'' Dawson said the R&A was ''very conscious'' of the players' comments. ''And we will take it into account tonight when we decide our greenkeeping strategy overnight, just how we are going to set the course up tomorrow,'' he said. ''I do understand that some players get very frustrated. Ian Poulter I know bogeyed three of the last four holes - hardly likely to be in the best of moods. But Ian's comments will be noted, and we'll have a look at it. We are still very satisfied that the course is playable, but very testing.'' Mickelson said he was trying to lag his putt on the par-5 17th and it still went 6 feet past the hole. The four-time major champion had no complains how he played. He made an 18-foot putt for par on the opening hole, and then made an 8-foot birdie putt on No. 2 and a birdie putt from just inside 20 feet on the next hole. The best part of his round was a series of pars when Mickelson said his game went through some ''technical difficulties.'' Once he got that sorted out, he made birdies on the 14th and 15th holes, and even a bogey on the 18th didn't spoil his day too much. It was his lowest start at the British Open since a 69 at Hoylake in 2006. ''I love the fact that I shot under par because it's a very challenging course out there,'' Mickelson said. As for the R&A and the pin placements on some of the holes at Muirfield? ''Well, hopefully they'll ... let go of their ego and set it up reasonable,'' he said. ''There's enough wind that it's challenging to maneuver shots. You have to hit shots to accommodate the wind, to get the ball coming into the greens at the right angles and stuff.''
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Jets to hire female defensive backs coach

Vince Young officially inks contract with CFL team

Jason Witten: Bill Parcells is getting soft in his old age

Braves make up with fan ejected by security for interference

David Price to start for Red Sox Monday against Chicago

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

David Price to start for Red Sox Monday against Chicago

Magic Johnson indicates Brandon Ingram is Lakers’ only untradeable player

Congress drafted a bill that could legalize online sports betting; how soon might it happen?

Oscar De La Hoya writes scathing letter opposing Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather

Mike Brown responds to Tyronn Lue saying Boston tougher to defend than Golden State

Concussions won’t change the way Luke Kuechly plays

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

It’s our civic duty to stop attending Super Bowls in new stadiums

Box Score 5/25: The Cavaliers look to close out the Celtics

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

Box Score 5/24: Craig Anderson saves the Senators

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker