Phil Mickelson wins Open with sensational last round 66

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Phil Mickelson won the Open at Muirfield with a late charge through the field. Putting brilliantly, the American completed a remarkable round of 66, overtaking English leader Lee Westwood who had yet another disappointing final day at a major. It was one of the great final Open rounds. Tiger Woods, Adam Scott and Henrik Stenson had also briefly flirted with putting in a challenge for the claret jug, but Mickelson hit form at the right time.

Mickelson finished his round with immaculate birdies on the final two holes while his rivals were hacking around in bunkers. Muirfield had taken its toll on the world's best players but it took true brilliance to master the course on the final day.

"Well, this was a day I'll remember my entire life," Mickelson said. "It was one of the best rounds of golf I've ever played." Mickelson said that winning the British Open meant so much to him. "I could not be more proud to be your champion. I never knew if I could be equipped to win your tournament. It's probably the most fulfilling moment of my career, as it was something I was never sure I'd be able to do. Thank you."

Westwood faded alarmingly when his first major was in reach. He tied with Ian Poulter as the highest-finishing British player, in third place behind Mickelson and Stenson. The British players had contrasting final days. Poulter, who had cursed the course after his opening round, made his way up the leaderboard with a fine combative round that will offer him hope for future majors.

Westwood's best chance may have gone, although he pointed out that experienced players have enjoyed a great record in the Open recently. "The Open should be the over-40s championship now," he said. "Seems like you've got to be 42, 43 to win it!"

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