[QODLink]
Golf

Brilliant Mickelson wins British Open

A superb final round of 66 gives Mickelson victory with three under total of 281, three strokes ahead of Henrik Stenson.

Last Modified: 21 Jul 2013 17:46
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The win is Mickelsonís fifth major title of his career [Reuters]

Instead of another excruciating loss in a major championship, Phil Mickelson got a chance to celebrate early.

A brilliant closing round at challenging Muirfield made it possible.

Mickelson won the claret jug for the first time and his fifth major championship with a 5-under 66 on Sunday, matching the best round of the tournament on a day when the other contenders - including Tiger Woods - faded away.

Lefty birdied four of the last six holes, winning by three strokes and emphatically erasing the memory of all those close calls that didn't go his way - the latest one just last month when he was runner-up at the US Open for a staggering sixth time.

"This is such an accomplishment for me,'' Mickelson said.

To play what is arguably the best round of my career, to putt the way I putted, to shoot the round of my life, it just feels amazing to win the claret jug

Phil Mickelson,

"I never knew if I'd be able to develop the game and the shots to play links golf effectively. To play what is arguably the best round of my career, to putt the way I putted, to shoot the round of my life, it just feels amazing to win the claret jug.''

Deserved victory

Overall, Mickelson has eight runner-up finishes in the majors, including one at golf's oldest major championship just two years ago.

Now, at age 43, he's finally got his name on the claret jug, three-fourths of the way along to a career Grand Slam and assuring he'll go down as one of the greats of the game.

"I putted soooo good,'' Mickelson said.

He began his amazing finish with a 8-footer for birdie at the 13th, getting his score back to even par and giving him a score that he thought would be in the mix at the end if he simply parred out.

Mickelson did much better than that, rolling in a 20-footer at the 14th for another birdie, reaching the green in two at the par-5 17th to set up yet another birdie, and closing it with a 10-footer on the final hole for a 3-under 281 total.

Even though there were still four groups still on the course, Mickelson knew he had done more than enough to win. He pumped his fists and let out a yell. His caddie burst into tears. His wife and kids celebrated just off the green.

Lee Westwood began the day with a two-stroke lead but was again denied his first major title. He struggled to a 75 that left him four shots back, and Mickelson's victory was assured when Westwood didn't come close to making the eagle he needed on the 17th. Woods was two shots out at the start but a 74 left him five shots behind the winner.

Mickelson was the only player to break par over four days at a baked-outcourse that bedeviled the world's best golfers.

Everyone but Mickelson, that is. Henrik Stenson was the runner-up at 284.

Ian Poulter and Adam Scott finished another shot back.

"Phil must've played really well,'' Westwood said.

"Five-under par is a good round of golf this afternoon.''

587

Source:
AP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
More than 400 gaming dens operate on native lands, but critics say social ills and inequality stack the deck.
The Palestinian president is expected to address the UN with a new proposal for the creation of a Palestinian state.
Nearly 1,200 aboriginal females have been killed or disappeared over 30 years with little justice served, critics say.
Ethnic violence has wracked China's restive Xinjiang region, leading to a tight government clampdown.
Malay artists revitalise the art of puppeteering by fusing tradition with modern characters such as Darth Vader.