Mickelson won his first Open title on Sunday, with an excellent, almost perfect, performance in the final round. That being the case, the 43-year-old, a triple winner of the Masters Tournaments and champion in the 1995 US PGA Championship, merely has to win the title of US Open champion to have won all of the four big tournaments in the male golf world.
The foundation of Mickelson’s victory at the 142nd staging of the Open Championship was an irresistible final spurt on Sunday, at the classic links course of Muirfield, not far from Edinburgh. With four birdies on the last six holes of the Par-71 course, and a 66-round, Mickelson ended first.
After the American (-3), the Swede Henrik Stenson was second, three strokes behind. The Englishmen Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood, as well as Masters Champion Adam Scott from Australia, finished tied for third place. After rounds of 71, 74, 72 and 75 strikes (+9), BMW Brand Ambassador Martin Kaymer finished tied 32nd.
In the fifth from last group, beside the Italian Francesco Molinari, with both being five strikes behind leading Englishman Lee Westwood on Sunday morning, Mickelson slowly pushed his way forward to first place. At half way through his last 18 holes, he had carded two birdies. A bogey on hole 10 had already cost him the title. However, in "Crunch Time", the left-hander opened up with his excellent short game.
On his last six holes in Muirfield, Mickelson carded an incredible four birdies. At this time, only a miracle could have given overnight leader Westwood (five bogeys, only one birdie in the final round) his first Major win. But this miracle did not happen. "I played some of the best golf of my career", said Mickelson, who was very enthused to finally win the tournament he had always considered "the most difficult to win". No wonder Mickelson commented: "This might be the best moment of my whole career."