The 2013 British Open was an extremely challenging tournament from start to finish for all involved. The conditions at Muirfield were poor at best, but even though this installment of the Open wasn’t filled with a ton of great shots, there was still no shortage of drama in Sunday’s final round.
Lee Westwood came into the day as the favorite with a two-stroke lead over Tiger Woods, but both golfers struggled throughout the final round. Westwood didn’t hit a fairway off the tee until hole 10, while Woods continued to leave himself long par putts that he just couldn’t make.
Zach Johnson was able to hang around after getting out to an early lead Thursday, but he couldn’t sink any birdies the rest of the weekend. Johnson was very deserving of his top 10 finish, but he simply didn’t have the putter to win his second major.
Adam Scott and Phil Mickelson were the stories of Sunday’s final round, with both players making furious runs at the Claret Jug. However, it was Mickelson that prevailed, posting an amazing (-5) on the day.
As the pivotal par-five 17th hole approached, Lefty had a one-stroke lead with a chance to put himself in the driver’s seat. He did just that, reaching the green with two amazing shots, where he then birdied his way into a two-stroke lead. Mickelson didn’t stop there, though, as he really put his stamp on this year’s open on 18. With all the pressure on to finish out his amazing round, he dropped another birdie to seal his first Open Championship in a truly electric moment.
While a lot of the talk will be about Westwood choking, which he certainly did, Mickelson earned this victory. When it became crunch time on the back-nine, Lefty simply rose above everybody else and willed his way to his third different major championship. His birdie on 18 and his final round (66) will go down in Open history and now there’s absolutely no question that Phil Mickelson is one of the greatest to ever play the game of golf.
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