Final Thoughts on the 2013 British Open: Phil Mickelson stakes claim to being one of the best golfers ever.

mickelson_05When you start the discussion about who are the best golfers in the history, you have to put Phil Mickelson’s name somewhere on the list. It’s amazing to think a player coming into the British Open, 4 time major winner with 40+ wins worldwide would still have a career that many considered more about lost opportunity than victories. You simply can’t do that anymore after Phil Mickelson won the 2013 British Open for his 5th major.

It was a stirring final round 66 that lifted Mickelson to victory. He was able to put the US Open disappointment behind him, and as I said then he was going to win another major.  I just didn’t know it would be this quickly. Mickelson is coming off back to back wins, and is now the number 2 player in the World. There’s no reason to think he can’t win another 1 or 2 majors before he’s done. He was brilliant today. Now you can’t make a top 15 player list of all time without Phil Mickelson. Some may argue he should be in the top 10.

That’s something I may have blog about in the future, but today he took control of a major when everyone else went backwards. It was a back nine charge Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus would be proud of.

  •  Tiger Woods was an afterthought today after entering the 4th round just 2 shots out of the lead. It was a sloppy 74 that started with 3 bogeys on the front 9 that ended things for Woods. Woods might be a 14 time major, but he’s more Lee Westwood these days than the Tiger Woods we used to know. He’s putting himself into contention, but keeps coming up empty. Eventually the stars will align and he’ll win another major, but then again Tom Watson and Arnold Palmer never won majors after they turned 35.
  • Poor Lee Westwood… His major record since 2008 is remarkable. That’s 11 top 10 major finishes without a win. It looked like this might be his tournament. His short game looked much improved, but surprisingly his ball striking failed him today. With Mickelson charging on the back 9 Westwood just couldn’t get it going. I think Westwood and Woods need to see the same sports psychologist. I hope Westwood doesn’t get to the Sergio Garcia level where he thinks he can’t win a major, because he can.
  • Adam Scott got his major in April at Augusta, but he also slipped down the stretch today. That said Scott doesn’t have the major pressure a Woods or Westwood has. He’s not chasing Nicklaus or a first major, but he keeps getting in contention. I like Scott’s chances to win another major in in the next couple of years.
  • Another player who you should keep an eye on is Hunter Mahan. It’s was the second straight major he played in the final group. He’s gaining valuable experience contending in majors, and it is going to happen for him. It might be next month’s PGA Champsionship.
  • If anyone needs a sport psychologist, it is Rory Mcilory. He looks completely out of sorts these days. Sure he’s talented, but his entire game looks lost, as he missed the cut this week. This looks like a year to forget.
  • In just 3 weeks the PGA Tour’s final major the PGA Championship heads to Oak Hill in Rochester, NY. Can Phil Mickelson continue his roll? Can Tiger finally play well again on Sunday at a major? Can Westwood recover? He should take note of Adam Scott’s and Phil Mickelson’s recovery following their major disappointments.  I’m not counting him out yet. He showed too much this week.

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