The 2013 British Open was everything golf fans have come to expect from one of the sport’s marquee tournaments.
Muirfield played tremendously difficult from start to finish as players were tested by high winds, fast, dry greens and some of the longest rough most players will see all year. As a result, final scores resembled many of those we saw at Merion and the 2013 U.S. Open.
But Phil Mickelson wouldn’t be slowed by the tough playing conditions and incredible field. With a final-round 66, Lefty secured his first British Open victory and added to a resume that gets continually more impressive with each year.
KPMG Mickelson tweeted a photo of the 43-year-old with the claret jug:
Mickelson was masterful during his round, stating during the claret jug presentation broadcast that his Sunday round was the best of his career. Plenty of observers agreed with that sentiment.
As Mickelson claimed after the tournament, it was “probably the most fulfilling moment” of his career:
A performance like Mickelson’s 66 garnered a lot of attention from the social media world.
As Penn State football’s Jay Paterno tweeted, Mickelson’s final round was one of the most memorable finishes in the history of golf:
Nathan Zegura mirrored that sentiment, as did The Associated Press’ Doug Ferguson:
While Mickelson was truly masterful, it did take a Lee Westwood collapse to pave the way for a British Open victory.
The 40-year-old is arguably the best current player to have never won a major, and despite carrying a score of three under and the tournament lead into Sunday, he flailed to a final-round 75 and slipped back to a third-place finish.
ESPN 850’s Kenny Roda pointed out that it wasn’t Westwood’s collapse that people will remember, however:
Roda also took a minute to note the class Lefty showed following his win:
But of course, the No. 1 golfer in the world also garnered quite a bit of social media attention following his final-round 74 and sixth-place finish.
ESPN’s Myron Medcalf, Bleacher Report’s Chris Trapasso and Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com all chimed in on the topic of Tiger Woods:
Like Woods, Adam Scott faded down the stretch to card several late-round bogeys and fall out of contention, as noted by Fox Sports News, the PGA Tour and the European Tour:
Mickelson’s late push highlighted a lot of missed opportunities from some of the world’s best golfers, but nothing can be taken away from Lefty. With his fifth major tournament victory spanning three events, Mickelson continues adding to his legacy, even at 43.
When the dust had settled at Muirfield, the leaderboard was a compilation of big performances and tragic letdowns, but there’s no denying the entertainment the final day provided.
As Dennis Manoloff of the Cleveland Plain Dealer pointed out with this tweet, the leaderboard was packed with huge names and incredibly skilled golfers:
Golf fans really cannot ask for much more than that.