With four birdies over the last six holes, Phil Mickelson closed with a 5-under 66 for a three-shot win over Henrik Stenson to win his very first British Open Championship and his 5th major overall on Sunday. The only major that still eludes Mickelson is the U.S. Open.
For awhile, it looked like this tournament might belong to Lee Westwood, who is one of the best golfers to never win a major. He held a two shot lead entering the final round on Sunday. But Westwood struggled during his entire final round, shooting a 4-over 75. He lost the lead on the par-3 13th and never regained it.
Tiger Woods trailed Westwood by two shots to start the final round. But Woods battled with his putter for most of the tournament and needed 33 putts to close out his round yesterday. Of the 84 golfers on the course, only 8 of them needed more than 33 putts on the final day.
Woods major drought continues. The last time he won was back in 2008 at the U.S. Open. That’s 17 majors without a win. He still trails Jack Nicklaus (18 wins) by 4.
Mickelson, while tied for the lead, smashed a 3-wood onto the green at the par-5 17th and wound up with a 2-putt birdie. He finished with a 10-foot birdie putt on the 18th to match the lowest score of this championship.
It was the 43rd win of Mickelson’s PGA Tour career. This win also returns him to No. 2 in the world golf ranking.
Bill Scott’s thoughts on the 2013 British Open follow: