Phil Mickelson's final-round performance at the 2013 Open Championship will go down as one of the most impressive feats in tournament history. His five-under-par score of 66 gave him a three-shot lead over the field, setting up the first British Open victory of his career.
Mickelson wasn't the only golfer who found a way to play his best under the extreme pressure of Day 4 at the British Open, either.
While tournament favorites Tiger Woods and Lee Westwood fumbled and bumbled their way through the final round on Sunday, there were others who shot up the leaderboard with fantastic efforts.
These players were able to conquer the difficult conditions at Muirfield as well as their nerves, and they played better than anyone else did on Sunday.
Lefty's legend grew on Sunday.
It's as if he woke up a few weeks ago and suddenly figured out links golf after years of struggling badly. First, he won the Scottish Open—his first win on UK soil—and then he won the British Open.
And he didn't just win the Open, he dominated his competitors in the manliest way possible (in terms of golf prowess) by making four birdies in his final six holes.
He put a stranglehold choke on the Claret Jug while the rest of the leaders were still laboring through their final holes.
Westwood, Woods and Adam Scott were the walking dead after Mickelson's legend-making putt went down on No. 18.
Mickelson's performance on Sunday at Muirfield can only be described as a masterpiece, and it will go down in history as one of the best championship performances in the history of golf.
Respect to the person at ESPN for penning this gem of a commentary on Poulter's final round at Muirfield:
Forget the clown's face and the windmill. Ian Poulter is charging ferociously up the leaderboard at #TheOpen.— ESPN (@espn) July 21, 2013
Just days after he criticized the course layout at Muirfield on his Twitter account, a four-under-par round of 67 moved Poulter from 19th place all the way up into a tie for third place on Sunday.
Poulter's final-round scorecard wasn't devoid of blemishes—bogeys on No. 3 and No. 16—but he lit up the course with four birdies and one eagle to counter his mistakes, posting the second-best score of Day 4.
While there's no doubt the Englishman would have loved to win the tournament, he did everything he possibly could do to make it happen. Utilizing an aggressive, all-or-nothing approach to his final round, Poulter's gutsy performance was bettered only by that of the champion.
After posting three straight scores over par from Thursday to Saturday, Dufner had zero chance of winning the tournament heading into Sunday. He began the day at 12 over par—15 shots off the lead.
One might consider "Dufnering," given such circumstances.
With nothing to lose, however, Dufner gained ground on many of his peers with a round to match Poulter's, as noted by Auburn Men's Golf—of which Dufner is an alumni:
With his impressive fourth-round exploits, the man best known for his Internet meme moved into a tie for 26th place and earned himself a nice paycheck for his efforts.
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