2013 Open Championship: Mickelson magic secures his first Claret Jug

Phil Mickelson cements himself as one of the golf’s greats by winning the 2013 British Open.

Phil Mickelson produced some final round magic to win his first Open Championship at Muirfield. The victory made it five major championship victories for Mickelson placing the Claret Jug next to his three US Masters wins (’04, ’06, ’10) and his US PGA Championship in 2009.

Phil Mickelson went into this week’s Open Championship in great form having won last week’s Scottish Open in a dramatic playoff but despite two birdies on the opening nine holes of the final round, a bogey on the 10th appeared to send Mickelson out of contention for a fifth major title.

With Tiger Woods struggling and Westwood, Stenson and Scott jostling for position atop the leaderboard, Mickelson made his move.

Mickelson was playing without a driver in his bag this week and after making birdies on the 13th and 14th holes he suddenly had the outright lead.

A stunning second shot on the par-5 17th hole saw Mickelson with an eagle putt. He tapped in for an easy birdie and within the space of half an hour Mickelson had turn a tight leaderboard into a one-man show.

But Mickelson wasn’t done with yet.

He high-fived the crowd as he wandered to the final hole, nailed his 3-wood down the middle of the fairway and fired an approach shot to 10 feet of the flagstick.

Mickelson rolled in one of the few birdies on the 18th hole at Muirfield on Sunday to post a final round 5-under par 66, that included a just 32 shots on the back nine. Mickelson finished the tournament as the only player under par for the week at 3-under and cemented himself as one of the very best golfers of all time.

Australian golf fans had reason to believe Adam Scott was to put his hands on the Claret Jug when he turned around a poor start to rattle off four birdies in five holes in the middle of his round to take a one shot lead.

Scott made a miraculous recovery shot at the par-3 14th but missed the six-foot putt for par which appeared to unsettle the US Masters champion. Scott went on to bogey his next three holes to rule out any chance of a second major championship.

English hopes pinned on Lee Westwood but like so many times before, he couldn’t hold it together during a final round at a major. Westwood had frittered away his two shot lead at the turn and just couldn’t make a birdie on the back nine to give himself a realistic chance to challenge Mickelson.

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