Open Golf: Late surge lands Lefty The OpenJuly 21, 2013 Golf News
Mickelson birdies four of the last six holes to win a first Claret Jug
Phil Mickelson is the 2013 Open champion after a frenetic final round at Muirfield.
The American started the day five shots behind at two-over-par, but made six birdies – including four over the final six holes – to card an incredible 66 and rocket up the leaderboard late on in the afternoon.
His late charge included birdies at 13, 14, 17 – where his eagle putt pulled up just short – and 18, putting three shots between himself and the rest of the field and his name on the Claret Jug. He eventually finished on three-under-par.
“This is such an accomplishment for me,” said Mickelson. “I just never knew if I’d be able to develop the game and the shots required to play links golf effectively.
“To play the best round arguably of my career today, to putt better than I’ve ever putted and to shoot the round of my life here just feels amazing to win the Claret Jug.”
Mickelson also explained his thinking heading into the final six holes, which he tore through at four-under-par.
“It’s such a difficult six-hole finish. I was just trying to hit good shots on the green and to give myself putts at it and I putted so good.
The American started the day five shots behind at two-over-par, but made six birdies – including four over the final six holes – to card an incredible 66 “I just made some great putts coming in and it feels amazing.”
It must be said that the American’s triumph would not have been possible without a little help from Woods and Westwood, however.
Overnight leader Westwood repeatedly put himself in trouble off the tee and appeared nervous, especially as he noticed Lefty moving his way up the leaderboard.
Woods was also disappointing, missing key birdie putts and putting himself out of contention with three bogeys over the course of the first six holes. The world number one eventually ended two-over-par after a forgettable 74.
Masters champion Adam Scott looked set to land a second Major of the season after a blistering front nine. The Australian birdied 7, 8, 9 and 11 to take himself to two-under-par, one ahead of Westwood and Mickelson.
But a torrid back nine, which included four consecutive bogeys from the 13th through to the 16th saw him slip back and end on two-over-par.
Ian Poulter also made his mark on the final day. The Englishman eagled the 9th before making birdies at the 10th, 11th and 12th to put himself right into contention at level-par.