Phil Mickelson wins first Open Championship

7/21/13 in Golf   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Blog Photo - Phil Mickelson wins first Open ChampionshipAt the beginning of the final round of the Open Championship, the talk centered on two names. Would 54 hole leader Lee Westwood finally win his first major, or would Tiger Woods finally come from behind to win a major? In the end though, it was Phil Mickelson that blew everyone else away to win his first Open Championship, and 5th major of his career.

What made Phil's win so surprising is how and where he did it. The Open has been traditionally where he's played the worst of the four majors, contending only a few times in his career. His final round wasn't typical up-and-down Mickelson either. He played one of his best rounds ever, bogeying just one hole and birding 4 of the last 6, including a brilliantly played 18th, to shoot 66. That put Phil's final score for the championship at 3 under. With everyone else running in place at best, that birdie on 18 essentially sealed the win.

While Phil thrived, the rest of the field mostly buckled. Westwood never got it going today, missing fairway after fairway in shooting 75 to finish 4 shots back. Adam Scott led to start the back nine for the second year in a row, but again faded after four straight bogeys from 13-16. Ian Poulter started hot, but couldn't stay hot and also finished at +1 with Westwood and Scott. As for Tiger? He struggled on the greens yet again in the final round of a major. He shot 74 to finish +2 and tied for sixth.

Henrik Stenson was solid but never spectacular, but did shoot 70 to finish at even par and solo second.

In the end though, it was all about Mickelson, who played as well as he's ever played to come from behind and win. He's now one major from a career Grand Slam, which of course is the US Open. After six runner-ups there, next year's US Open is at Pinehurst, the site of the first one. That's for later though. For now, Phil has a flight home with the Claret Jug.
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