AFTER 20 years of trying, Phil Mickelson has his first win on a British links course, just days out from the 2013 British Open.
It will be a huge boost for the American who took the 2013 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open after a play-off with South Africa’s Branden Grace.
“This is really cool,” Mickelson said. “I have been coming here for some time and had some opportunities and I almost let it slip away today. To come out on top was terrific.”
The 43 year old was sounding positive about his chances of securing his fifth major this week at Muirfield.
“It’s important to me, and it’s probably the biggest challenge of my career hitting the shots that are required here. And so to win here and to play well here, finally win on a links golf course, it really means a lot to me, and it also builds my confidence heading into future Scottish and British Opens.”
A place in The Open was on offer to the winner of the tournament if not already exempt, but with Mickelson taking the title first reserve Scott Stallings gets the Muirfield berth.
Asked if it was possible to win back-to-back events and lift the Claret Jug for the first time, Mickelson commented: “I certainly hope so. I don’t think there is a better way to get ready for a Major Championship than playing the week before and getting into contention and coming out on top just gives me more confidence.
“But there’s a lot of luck involved in the Open. You need some luck with your tee times, you need to play well and have some good bounces.”
Overnight leader Henrik Stenson and Denmark’s JB Hansen shared third place on 15 under, two strokes behind the leaders, while Richard Green was the best placed Aussie on 3-under.
2013 Scottish Open Final Leaderboard2013 Scottish Open Final Leaderboard