British Opens are rarely, if ever, predictable. That certainly held true in Thursday’s first round of the 2013 Open Championship at Muirfield. There was a fair share of surprising performances and unpredictable challenges.
There were former champions turning back the clock for at least 18 holes, new faces succeeding in the face of low expectations and veteran golfers struggling in ways few could have seen coming.
Perhaps most surprising on Thursday was Muirfield itself, which was the tough test most expected, but for reasons few anticipated.
The Scottish links course played more like a U.S. Open venue than a British Open layout as high temperatures and the bright sun baked the layout into a lightning-fast challenge. In fact, some golfers, including Phil Mickelson, complained that certain holes were borderline unfair.
Yes, Thursday at Muirfield was just another untypical day in the sport’s oldest major championship.