The 2013 British Open can be considered a valiant triumph, a heartbreaking defeat or yet another near miss – depending on your perspective. Phil Mickelson certainly sees his first Open Championship title as a success. He shot a 66 in the final round at Muirfield to capture a three shot lead over Henrik Stenson. This is the third jewel of the career grand slam for Mickelson. The only one that he is still missing is the elusive U.S. Open title – where he has finished as a runner-up six times.
Lee Westwood came into the final round with a two shot lead over Hunter Mahan and Tiger Woods. It seemed to be a struggle to stay afloat all day for Westwood. Normally an exceptional striker of the ball, he failed to hit a fairway on the front nine. Known as a below average putter, his short stick is what actually kept him alive for most of the round. Consecutive bogeys on the seventh and eighth holes started the downward spiral that continued at 13 and 16. This becomes yet another excellent opportunity on which Westwood couldn’t capitalize.
Ian Poulter started the day way off of the pace. He was five over par heading into Sunday with a miniscule chance to get into the mix. He went on an absolute tear, playing holes nine through 12 in five under par. That got him in contention quickly. A bogey on 16 slowed his surge a bit, but Poulter definitely gave the leaders something to think about considering he posted his final score of one over par hours before the leaders finished.
Congrats to Phil Mickelson on becoming the 2013 British Open Champion.