Pádraig Harrington survived vicious Muirfield and told the moaners — “Shame on you.”
The two-time Open champion escaped with a two over 73 as a stiff breeze and scorching sunshine Muirfield’s already rock hard greens into ice rinks.
Ian Poulter called the pin position on the eighth “a joke” and said the 18th needed “a windmill and clown face.”
Dane Thomas Bjorn added: “This is what Muirfield should be like Sunday afternoon. The fear is where it’s going.”
Harrington found it tough but lashed the moaners, insisting: “If you didn’t expect to get that going out there this week, shame on you. In ideal conditions, there are going to be some tough pins. That’s it.
“When I was going around in my practice rounds I was looking for the tough pins because this was always going to happen.
“At the end of the day, the forecast is good and the R&A got the scoring they want and the pins they want. That’s exactly what they would have looked for.
“When were those guys out? Early in the day? Hahaha. You’d want to see it now!”
Harrington did admit that it was a tough test, but it wasn’t a surprise to him.
He said: “It was tough. The greens got really quick. Really, really quick.
“I think I used my putter 37 times. And I putted well! I putted really well to use my putter 37 times. I would consider I putted awesome.
“A couple of putts I thought were struggling to get the hole went six and eight feet by. You had to pay attention.
“I nearly holed my second shot on 18 and had no more than 15 feet and to be honest, if somebody had offered me two putts, I’d have said OK, I’ll take that.
“I would assume it has only got tougher during the day. When there was a little more moisture early on, it wouldn’t have been the same.
“To be honest, that’s links golf. That’s what you expect. Maybe there was a tiny bit more wind than they expected. There was a nice bit of breeze, sunny day - it was perfect conditions for links golf.”
Harrington two putted the fifth for birdie to be one under through seven holes before a bunkered tee shot cost him a bogey at the eighth
He two putted again for birdie at the par-five ninth to turn in one under but bogeyed the 10th off a perfect tee shot and missed a great birdie chance from four feet at the 11th.
Back to back bogeys at the 13th (three putts) and 14th (bad second shot) left him with a sour taste in his mouth but he hopes to make a move early today.
He added: “t was a hard day to make birdies. The two birdies I made were both par fives.
“If I had had a good day on the greens it would have been three or four under.”
Explaining in the build up what he meant by his struggle with high expectations, Harrington said a player in form hit an average shot an considered it “a cousin of a poor shot” but the man in form considered it “the cousin of a good shot.”
Asked if his 73 was the cousin of a good or a bad round, he said: “Cousin of a good round. That’s why I am not hitting the range or anything.”
That said, he wasn’t doing cartwheels either.