Graeme McDowell refused to blame the tough pins or slick greens as he slid to a three over 75 at slippery Muirfield.
The Ulster ace had two birdies, two bogeys and two double bogeys on greens he said were like “glass” before adding: “It’s like an ice rink out there.”
But as playing partner Tiger Woods shot a two under 69, the Portrush star refused to complain about the conditions, insisting: “The pins are fair but it’s literally like an ice rink around some of the holes.
“I couldn’t single out a pin that I thought was unfair but if you got on the wrong side of them, they could make you look very, very silly.”
McDowell birdied the par-five fifth and bounced back from a three putt bogey at the sixth by holing a 40 foot bomb at the eighth.
But he then racked up a double bogey seven at the ninth after tangling twice with the heavy rough and made another double at the 15th after another bad tee shot led to a costly second into sand followed by a short miss on the green
A bogey at the last, where he hooked his drive into the left rough and then missed a 10 footer after a good pitch left him reeling. But he vowed to come out fighting for his early start today when the greens will be a little less intimidating.
Refusing to moan and groan, he said: “I don’t want to stand here and criticise the setup. That would be wrong of me to do so.
“There’s guys making a score out there. Like I said, Tiger’s two-under was impressive and Frankie Molinairi is two under just behind us.
“The only thing I did wrong this afternoon was compound the errors when I did get out of position, trying to be smart and it was just very hard to control it out of this rough in these firm, fast fairways.
“It’s disappointing but I’ll regroup and get back out there in the morning.”