GULLANE, SCOTLAND - He told us he had a secret.
Phil Mickelson said he had found something in his putting stroke over the last few months, some key he wasnít willing to share. He rode that secret to a final round 66 at the British Open Sunday - one of the finest final rounds in major championship history - and came from five strokes back to win his first Open championship.
Mickelson won his fifth major with a back nine 32, surging past a faltering lead group of Englishman Lee Westwood, Australian Adam Scott, Swede Henrik Stenson and Tiger Woods, none of whom got the feel for Muirfieldís greens that Mickelson showed down the stretch.
ďIím playing some of the best golf of my career. Itís the best Iíve ever putted,Ē said the 43-year-old Hall of Famer. ďI didnít know if I could develop the game to win this championship. Sundayís round will be one of the most memorable Iíve played.Ē
Mickelson won by three strokes over Stenson, who shot a 70 on Sunday.
Mickelson took a share of the lead when he parred the par-3 16th hole as Westwood, the 54-hole leader, was bogeying the par-3 13th and Scott, who had his breakthrough majors win at the Masters in April, was bogeying the par-4 14th, putting on and off the green.
Mickelson rolled his 3-wood second onto the green at 17 and two-putted for his go-ahead birdie.