PHIL MICKELSON has fired a miraculous final round 5-under 66 to win the 2013 British Open and claim his fifth major trophy.
Mickelson was under the radar for most of the final round in tough conditions at Muirfield but came home with four birdies in the final six holes – including the last two – to scatter the earlier leaders.
Unfortunately, one of the mid round leaders was Adam Scott, who again looked in command in the final round of an Open when he birdied the 11th to go into the outright lead at 2-under.
A string of four straight bogeys – more than reminiscent of his capitulation to Ernie Els at Royal Lytham last year – from the 13th ended the dream of a Claret Jug to add to his Green jacket this year.
For Mickelson it was back to back wins after taking out the Scottish Open last week and finally coming to grips with British links golf after 20 year of trying.
“Today will be one of the most memorable rounds of golf I’ve ever played,” said Mickelson, who now only needs a US Open to complete a career grand slam of majors. He has previously won three Masters and a PGA Championship.
“I’m playing some of the best golf of my career. It’s the best I’ve ever putted,” the 43 year old American said.
Scott finished with a long range bomb to birdie the last and close with a 1-over 72 and finish at 1-over for the tournament.
His playing partner Tiger Woods looked out of sorts from the opening hole and never threatened to add to his tally of 14 majors. Woods finished with a 74 to be 2-over for the tournament.
Overnight leader Lee Westwood drew on strong support from the local crowd to hang in early but couldn’t keep the momentum going. He finished with a 4-over 75.
In the end it was a three stroke victory to Mickelson on 3-under from Sweden’s Henrik Stenson (70) alone in second, with Scott, Westwood and Ian Poulter (67) sharing third place on 1-over.
Poulter had earlier threatened to swoop from left field to take the championship when he followed an eagle on 9 with three straight birdies.
Final Round Video Highlights with Mickelson & Scott Interviews