The Greens…
When discussing the demands of links golf, we often find ourselves speaking exclusively of the wind. Thankfully this year’s Championship has reminded us all that if the course is firm and fast, it’ll be a strong test no matter what the breeze.

In particular, the greens have a glassy, shiny brown tinge. Some of the players might not like it (see Ian Poulter’s twitter feed for more on that) and the competition committee may well water them tonight, but this is true links golf. Wonderful stuff!

Rory McIlroy…
At the start of the week the Northern Irishman told the media his game was in a much better place going into Muirfield 2013. But deep down, there seemed a lack of conviction. Did Rory really believe what he was telling us?

The answer to that appears to be a rather resounding, no. Poor old Rory’s lack of self-belief has exposed his game on an increasingly unforgiving layout. He even managed to putt into a bunker on the 15th as he trudged his way to a sorry 79, where he has Sir Nick Faldo for company.

Miguel Angel Jimenez…

The 49 year-old Spaniard set the early pace and finished the day on -3. Earlier in the week Golf Monthly’s resident tipster pointed to Jimenez saying, “150/1 with Ladbrokes, has had a season marred by injury, but has had some decent results. He is a good links player and Muirfield could suit his play.”

The charismatic veteran happens to be featured in the current issue of Golf Monthly magazine with his advice on how to win, whatever your age!

Jimmy Mullen…
The Open is nothing without a great amateur story and this year’s looks to be coming courtesy of Royal North Devon (RND) member, Jimmy Mullen.

Last year Jimmy played in the Silver Medal at RND with Golf Monthly’s own Mike Harris and Jeremy Ellwood. On a foul day, he was good enough to shoot 72.

Lifting his game to compete alongside the world’s best, Jimmy finished on level par today. Fantastic effort that underlines why the Open should always remain, open.

The Americans…
Say it quietly but there’s a fair few lurking on the leaderboard. Of the 22 players under par (at the time of writing) half were American.

Maybe the lack of wind and the dryness are playing into their hands. Maybe it’s the sun. Maybe we’re reading too much into it. Either way, we’ll know more tomorrow. It’s shaping up beautifully.