Schwartzel calls Muirfield a 'lottery'

GULLANE, Scotland -- A day after snapping his 8-iron in disgust, Charl Schwartzel has gone on the offensive again at the Open Championship.

The South African described conditions at Muirfield on Friday as unfair and "a lottery," despite shooting the lowest second-round score so far.

The 2011 Masters champion compared the fairways to a "runway" after hitting his drive at No. 15 380 yards into a bunker at speed and another at the second hole more than 400 yards.

Schwartzel, who shot a 3-under 68 to move to 1-over par, said, "It becomes a bit of a lottery. You don't know what's going to happen ... you can hit good shots and get all sorts of results. And it's not that exactly fair, in my eyes."

However, Schwartzel says if he wins the Claret Jug on Sunday, "I'll be kissing this golf course."

Schwartzel wasn't the only one upset.

The only thing defending champion Ernie Els liked less that his round of 74 was having to talk about it afterward.

Asked to talk about the conditions at Muirfield, Els said: "I don't need to be here. Ask your question."

After saying two greens on the back nine had dried out so badly they bordered on unplayable, Els was asked what he thought the setup crew from the Royal & Ancient should do about them.

"Water," he replied.

Phil Mickelson wasn't as upset at the course.

A day after he took Open Championship organizers to task for the setup at Muirfield, he had a change of heart. That came despite shooting a 74 that included a four-putt on the 16th hole, where Mickelson took three putts from inside 4 feet.

"When I made those comments yesterday, I wasn't being totally fair to the R&A because they've done a lot of things great with this championship," Mickelson said. "The fairway width is a very fair width to get the ball in play. The rough is difficult and challenging, but it's not over the top. It's very fair in spots."

Mickelson said a day earlier that some of the greens were unfair because of the speed of the course and the pin positions.

"For me to single out just a few sketchy pin placements and not give them credit for all the good things they've done was not fair," he said.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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