Written by Andy
Today we honour one of the greats in golf, the left handed American superstar Phil Mickelson after his fantastic final round triumph at Muirfield to claim his 5th golf major title and become The Open 2013 Champion.
We will also have a general look at how The Open Championship went down on day four after a few lines about our new champion.
In winning his first Open title, Phil has now won every golf major except the one he very nearly won a few weeks back in the US Open which I’m sure he will focus on winning next year.
The Open was Mickelson’s 51st professional golf win since joining the PGA Tour in 1992 and like I mentioned at the top of the page his 5th Major after wins at the PGA Championship in 2005, The Masters in 2004,2006 & 2010 and now The Open in 2013.
Inducted into the golf hall of fame in 2012, Mickelson is one of my favorite players and has been for some time now, this is not only due to his quality which includes the best short game I’ve seen from any golfer since I started watching the game with the exception of the great Seve Ballesteros but also due to his all action style, pure aggression and will to win when it comes to taking on the best golf courses in the world.
When it comes to watching the golf weekly be it on Sky Sports or on CBS in America a lot of the camera time is focused on a certain Mr Tiger Woods and I can appreciate that as he is also a great player but for me that spotlight should be equally spread a little more especially towards Mickelson as watching a Phil Mickelson round of golf is pure drama and box office due to his attacking style.
It’s not all hustle and bustle with Phil though as his win in Muirfield and last week in Aberdeen was tactical genius as he didn’t have a driver in his bag in any of the last two wins he has achieved in Scotland, he even said himself during his interview after winning The Open he was never sure if he had the tools or the game to win on a links course which is incredible in itself as everyone who is a golf fan knows he has every tool required to win any golf tournament he chooses!
That final day at Muirfield was a very special performance indeed and it’s no surprise he mentioned this fine round of 66 being his best ever and when you consider the career he has had and the number of great comebacks tells its own story.
At the age of 43 Mickelson’s Open win along with several other recent Open winners in recent years such as Ernie Els and Darren Clarke clearly show its not over for the likes of players over the age of 40 such as Lee Westwood or Miguel Angel Jimenez who at various stages performed so well at Muirfield. Westwood of course will be a hurting a little more as he had a 5 shot lead over Mickelson before the day started and of course a 2 shot lead over Hunter Mahan and Tiger Woods but in such a difficult course it was always going to be difficult with so many quality players chasing you.
I’m pretty sure I saw only 36% of overnight leaders in round 3 have went onto win The Open so maybe the comments of Westwood ‘bottling it’ are a little unfair considering the difficulty of the course and quality of players chasing. Mickelson’s natural aggressive competitive style and being 5 shots behind is exactly the motivation a player like Mickelson requires and he went out there and achieved exactly what he set out to do. Ian Poulter was the inspiration I believe for a lot of the late starters as he went out there and tore it up and after starting the day at +5 he at one point was level par and missed a birdie putt which would have made it interesting in his final few holes as he was very much in ‘Ryder Cup Mode’ and was excelling through the course.
It didn’t play out the way the great Tiger Woods wanted it either chasing his first major title in 5 years and his 15th major title in all. Tiger never really is used to being the man chasing someone down and its no surprise he has never won via this method as he is a frontrunner who sets the pace and lets the other chase after him. At 37 people will say Tiger is getting older and the pressure of catching the great Golden Bear Jack Nicklaus’ record may be too much but for me once Tiger gets that next major he will get the confidence back and go onto break the record. He has one more chance of winning a major this year at the PGA then its regroup onto next season. One thing’s for sure Tiger’s form this season has been superb and he is absolutely back to his best its just that during his period of transition the rest of the field have got better much better.
So lets end this piece on our Open Champion Phil Mickelson shall we
Phil has won $3,417,984 in 2013 which includes 1 PGA Tour win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, 2 seconds places, 2 thirds places, 5 top tens and 7 top twenty five finishes. In his 14 events he has only missed 3 cuts and after yesterday’s Open win now sits 2nd in the FedExCup rankings. His world golf ranking has went from 5th to 2nd after his Open win and the next topic on Phil’s agenda will of course be the coveted Number One spot.
Between now and the PGA Championship at Oak Hill on August 8th on the PGA Tour we have the RBC Canadian Open, Reno-Tahoe Open and the Bridgestone Invitational World Golf Championship. As of writing this post Phil isn’t schedule to compete at the Canadian Open and the field for the Reno-Tahoe isn’t announced yet but one suspects Mr Mickelson will spend some well deserved quality time on holiday with the family before coming back on course at the Bridgestone in preparation for the PGA.
It’s been a pleasure writing about one of my favorite players and I’m delighted he finally won The Open
Congrats Phil you deserve it!