• Open Championship, Round Four

Mickelson: I'll remember this day forever

ESPN staff
July 21, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Phil Mickelson took a three-shot victory at Muirfield © Getty Images
Enlarge

Phil Mickelson hailed perhaps the greatest round of his life after he won the Open Championship by three shots at Muirfield on Sunday.

Mickelson, who has talked at various points in his long career about his struggles with links golf, shot 66 to blow away the field at East Lothian - clinching his first Claret Jug and the fifth major championship title of his career.

The 43-year-old said it was an honour to win the Open, and a day he will never forget.

"This was a day I'll remember my entire life," Mickelson said, addressing the crowd after his victory presentation. "It was one of the best rounds of golf I've every played.

"To share it with Amy [wife], my main man [caddie] Bones [Jim Mackay], it just makes this moment even more special."

He added: "I want to thank them for the support they've given me throughout my career.

"I could not be more proud to be your champion. I never knew whether I would be equipped, have the shots, have the opportunity to do this. And to break through and capture this Claret Jug is one of the most fulfilling moments of my career."

Those closest to Mickelson remarked that the three-time major champion seemed to exude calm from the start on Monday, giving them confidence that he was about to produce something special.

"He's been very calm, he's been enjoying it so much and he always seems to play well when he's having fun," wife Amy told the BBC. "He was very confident (this morning), relaxed, excited for the day. He said 'I'm going to bring you home a Claret Jug'.

"I always have confidence in him but he was especially relaxed today."

The victory was clearly emotional for Mickelson's caddie, Mackay, who has worked with the left-hander for many years. The veteran bagman could be seen fighting the tears as Mickelson was named the champion golfer of the year.

"He did seem to be really at peace today and very confident with what was going on," Mackay said. "To go from where he was to the top of the leaderboard he was very calm. He knew he was putting great and putting himself into a position to succeed out there.

"I think it ranks right up there among his previous wins. I love the Masters but I love the British Open, especially in Scotland. It means the world, for me as his caddie at least, to win - it's very special."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Close