Phil Mickelson experienced a heartbreaking runner-up finish at the U.S. Open, but he rebounded Sunday to cap off a British Open performance that ranks among the best of his career.
Mickelson fired a final-round 66 en route to his first Open Championship title, as detailed by the PGA Tour:
During the Claret Jug presentation, Lefty called his final round the best of his career, and no one can argue with that. And not only did Mickelson lock up his first British Open title, but he also will be taking home a sizeable payday.
With the win, Mickelson earned $1.43 million and added to an already impressive 2013 season. Not every top golfer was so fortunate, however.
Lee Westwood and Hunter Mahan teed off in the last group as the tournament leaders, but each player flailed en route to disappointing finishes. Likewise, the world No. 1 and 14-time major tournament winner came up short of a British Open title and a much bigger payday.
Let’s take a look at the full payout schedule for the Open Championship and break down the final round of each of those players.
2013 Open Championship Prize Money Breakdown
|Place||Prize (Dollars)||Prize (Pounds)||Place||Prize (Dollars)||Prize (Pounds)|
Courtesy of The Open Championship's official website.
Lee Westwood (T3)
Westwood entered the final round with a two-stroke lead over Mahan at three under. As well as he had played throughout the tournament, it looked like the 40-year-old might be on his way to his first career major.
Instead, Westwood faded with a five-bogey performance, unable to offset the collapse with just one birdie. Westwood’s performance wasn’t cringe-worthy, but it certainly wasn’t the best of his career.
As noted by BBC Sport, nine strokes separated the play of Mickelson and Westwood in the final round.
While missing out on a major tournament title on his 62nd attempt had to have been deflating, the Englishman still has $528,639 to hang his hat on. Unfortunately, that’s about half of what he would have earned had he won the tournament.
Hunter Mahan (T9)
Mahan was one under after three rounds and well on his way to a British Open title. As he noted prior to the round, he was prepared for the challenge ahead, via PGA Tour:
Mahan on playing in final group: "It helps to have been here before. It helps knowing what your swing's momentum will be." #TheOpen— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) July 21, 2013
But like most golfers at Muirfield, the 31-year-old didn’t have complete control of his destiny. The course had other plans.
Muirfield was playing tremendously difficult over the weekend, made more treacherous by fast, dry greens and swirling winds. Mahan fell victim to those conditions on several occasions en route to a final-round 75 and a ninth-place finish.
With the ninth-place finish, Mahan collected $182,964, but that sum pales in comparison to the $289,750 he would have earned had he picked up one more stroke in his final round.
Still, money isn’t everything. He’s still searching for his first major tournament victory as well.
Tiger Woods (T6)
Another major, another Sunday collapse.
Once the best closer in the game, Tiger Woods came up short again in the final round of the British Open, despite entering the final round just two strokes back of the lead at one under.
After an opening-round 69, Woods shot a 71 on Friday and a 72 on Saturday to put himself in strong position to make a move in search of his 15th major.
But the 37-year-old faded in the final round, unable to find the consistent putting stroke and precise ball-striking that got him to that point. Woods continually found himself out of scoring position, unable to pick up those extra strokes.
The pressure is always on for the world No. 1, and while he pieced together another top-10 major finish, it wasn’t enough to reassert his presence as the best front runner in all of sports.
Tiger undoubtedly wanted the Claret Jug more than he wanted the prize money, but he did miss out on more than $1 million in earnings with the sixth-place finish, taking home $289,650 instead.