The Open 2013: Super 66 For Mickelson
Phil Mickelson surged from five strokes back to fire himself into the history books with his first Open title and a fifth major in an immensely exciting final day at Muirfield.
The 43-year-old American won by three shots ahead of Sweden’s Henrik Stenson, with the English pair of Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood four back alongside Masters champion Adam Scott. And it was with a stunning five-under 66 that Mickelson finished three under to take the spoils, the Claret Jug and the spotlight.
Only last week did Mickelson taste victory by winning the Scottish Open that he buried four of the last six holes at Muirfield and was in tears on the final green as he hugged caddie Jim ‘Bones’ Mackay.
Of the win, Mickelson said: "This is such an accomplishment because I never knew whether I'd be able to develop my game to play links golf. I played arguably the best round of my career, and shot the round of my life. It's such a difficult six-hole finish, I putted so good. It feels amazing." The left-hander then added: "The range of emotions I feel are as far apart as possible after losing the US Open. 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 becomes the third consecutive player in his 40s to win the Open, after Ernie Els and Darren Clarke.
It was heartache for Westwood, however, who was seeking his first major title at the 62nd attempt. He led by two going into the final day and moved serenely into a three-shot lead after coming through five holes. And then things started to go sour for the Englishman. It took him two to get out of a pot bunker on the short seventh and from then on he struggled to clasp enough momentum for see him through to the finish, ending with a 75.
Swede Stenson carded 70 f0r his best finish in a major, while Ryder Cup hero Poulter came from eight strokes back with a wonderful 67 on an overcast and breezy day. Adam Scott found himself leading the pack at one stage on an afternoon where the frontrunner switched constantly, and faltered late on to finish with a 72.
Bookies favourite Tiger Woods began two behind Westwood and in prime position to strike for a 15th major title since 2008, but his end product wasn’t good enough and he finished with a 74 for two over.