Lefty gets it right at The Open

Mon 22 Jul 2013

Lefty gets it right at The Open

  • SHARE
Gullane, Scotland, July 21: Phil Mickelson of the United States produced a grandstand birdie finish on the last to lift the Claret Jug for the first time in his glittering career on Sunday.
Mickelson came charging home from five shots back, shooting one-under after 10 before adding four birdies in his last six holes including on 17 and 18 for a five-under-par 66 and a winning total of three-under-par 281.
Henrik Stenson of Sweden settled for second after a 70 while Englishman Ian Poulter took a page from Medinah with an electrifying 67 highlighted by an eagle-three on nine followed by another three straight birdies at Muirfield.
Overnight leader Lee Westwood failed to win his first Major title in his 62nd attempt after posting 75 to end his campaign in third with countryman Poulter and reigning Masters Tournament champion Adam Scott of Australia.
"This is such an accomplishment. I never thought I could develop the game and shots to play links golf," said Mickelson, who also won the Scottish Open last week.
"The greens were fast and firm. I played the best round of my life, I putted better than I have ever putted. I shot the round of my life," said the American, who finally won The Open in his 20th appearance.
"It's probably the greatest and most difficult win of my career. It is great to be part of any Open Championship and to win at Muirfield feels amazing."
The Open win, which is his fifth Major title, erased the heartbreak of losing to Justin Rose of England at last month's U.S. Open by two shots.
"The range of emotions I feel are as far apart as possible in the last month after such a tough loss. You have to be resilient in this game and take losses and use them as motivation to work harder and come back stronger," said the 43-year-old Mickelson.
Westwood, who was five shots ahead of Mickelson at the start of the day, played beautifully for three days but struggled to find his ‘A Game’ when it mattered most.
“Sometimes you play well and somebody plays a bit better, and sometimes you play poorly. I didn’t really do either today and Phil obviously played well. But you’ve got to give yourself your own momentum and I just couldn’t get there today,” lamented Westwood.
Scott, aiming to win his second Major title, tipped his hat to the new Open winner. “I let a great chance slip. My game is in great shape but I didn’t get to the number that Phil finished on. Had I played a little more solid in the middle of that back nine, I could have had a chance coming in.”
Ends.