“Peaceful” Mickelson goes low to win Open
Phil Mickelson has won The Open Championship on Sunday after one of the finest final rounds of his career.
Prior to the final round, his wife Amy and long-time caddie “Bones” both noted Mickelson’s peaceful and calm demeanour as he headed out to claim the all-important third piece in the career Grand Slam puzzle.
Mickelson stormed up from eighth place with a five-under 66 at Muirfield Golf Club to capture his fifth major title. His final round 66 matched the lowest round of the Championship.
Mickelson finished three strokes ahead of Henrik Stenson, who closed at even par for the tournament.
“This is such an accomplishment because I never knew whether I’d be able to develop my game to play links golf,” Mickelson said.
“I played arguably the best round of my career, and shot the round of my life. To win this feels amazing.”
With three Masters (2004, 2006 and 2010) and a US PGA title (2005) already to his name, Mickelson only needs to win a US Open to complete a career Grand Slam.
Phil Mickelson – 2013 Open Champion (Credit: Fran Caffrey/www.golffile.ie)
“The range of emotions I feel are as far apart as possible after losing the US Open,” said Mickelson.
“But you have to be resilient in this game. These last couple of weeks, these last couple of months, I’ve played some of the best golf of my career.”
Mickelson moves to second place on the Official World Golf Ranking and the victory beats his previous best Open Championship finish of tied second in 2011.
Mickelson is the third consecutive player in their 40s to win The Open Championship, following Darren Clarke (42 in 2011) and Ernie Els (42 in 2012). Mickelson turned 43 last month.
What’s In The Bag – Phil Mickelson
- Callaway X Hot 3Deep Fairway Wood, 13º (Fubuki K 70x shaft)
- Callaway X Forged 4-9 Irons + PW (KBS Tour shaft in long irons, KBS Tour V2 in mid and short irons)
- Callaway JAWS Wedges 52º and 56º (KBS Tour V2 shafts)
- Callaway Mack Daddy 2 Wedges, 60º (Prototype) and 64-degree (KBS Tour V2 shafts)
- Odyssey Versa #9 Putter (White/Black/White)
- Callaway HEX Chrome+ Golf Ball
Lee Westwood, who entered the round with a two-stroke lead, fell out of contention after a tough front nine coupled with Mickelson’s surge.
Westwood, still hunting for his first major win, finished tied for third at 1-over along with Adam Scott and Ian Poulter.
Scott had led the tournament during the final round, but four straight bogeys across the back nine saw the Masters champion slip down the leaderboard to finish with a 72.
The outright lead was taken at the 11th when Scott drained another putt to make it four birdies in five holes but a missed green at the 13th, after he chipped to 10 feet and then missed the putt, had him back into a share of the lead with Westwood and Mickelson.
Another dropped shot from the Masters champion at the 14th left Mickelson out on his own. Shots were dropped at 15 and 16 and for the second Open running Scott had made four bogeys in a row on the back nine.
“You just can’t make too many errors and I made a couple on the green on 14 and 15,” said Scott.
“I’m happy with my week, other than I didn’t win. But I lived up to my expectations of putting myself in contention with a chance. It will just have to go down in the experience book as something to build on again.”
Tiger Woods’ five-year major hunt continues after he also struggled on the final day, carding a 74 to finish tied sixth alongside American Zach Johnson (72) and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama (70).
Woods began the final day two strokes off the lead but closed five shots behind Mickelson.
“It’s not like I’ve lost my card and am not playing here,” said Woods. “I just haven’t done it yet.”
Australian Jason Day found the final round conditions too tough, shooting a six-over 77 to drop to nine over, tied for 33rd.
Geoff Ogilvy tied for 44th, while Marcus Fraser was tied 54th and Peter Senior finished in equal 79th.