The Norman Transcript

Sports

July 23, 2013

Lefty still adding to his legacy with British Open win

GULLANE, Scotland — Phil Mickelson described his feelings toward links golf as a “hate-love” relationship, meaning he once dreaded coming over to the British Open for a brand of golf played only once a year. Now he loves it.

He felt that way even before his name was engraved on the silver claret jug.

Mickelson was in a great mood the first day he set foot on Muirfield last week. Fresh off a win at the Scottish Open, he played a practice round late Monday afternoon with Scott Piercy, a newcomer to links golf who received plenty of advice and a little needling from Mickelson.

When they reached the 18th hole, Piercy decided to hit driver with a slightly helping wind. He pulled it and watched it run into a bunker.

“This is what I love about Scott,” Mickelson said, loud enough for Piercy to hear. “For more than a hundred years they’ve been playing here,

everyone tries to keep it short of those bunkers. Scott gets here and says, ‘What do they know? I’m taking driver over those bunkers.”’

The entire group broke into laughter.

Mickelson is not sure when he figured out the secret to links golf.

Even though he won the British Open in his 20th try, he played good enough to win twice before. He finished one shot out of a playoff at Royal Troon in 2004, and a Sunday charge at Royal St. George’s two years ago was derailed when he missed a short par putt on the back nine. But he was always capable. Anyone with more than 40 titles and multiple majors can win anywhere on any surface.

He still won’t be looked upon as a links specialist, not like Tiger Woods or Ernie Els from his generation.

Even so, Mickelson’s three-shot victory at Muirfield for his fifth career major was every bit as important as his first major in 2004 at the Masters. The greatest players don’t just have multiple majors, their major trophies come in a variety of shapes and sizes, such as green jackets and silver jugs, along with more traditional cups.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • Big 12 Media Days Football Most Big 12 squads won’t shy from tough non-conference

    DALLAS — Never have the words “Final Four” been used so often at a football media gathering. Monday at Big 12 Football Media Days, the College Football Playoff was the hot topic. On Dec. 7, the 12-member panel will announce the best four ...

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Commish forecasts end of college sports as we know them

    You really have to read everything Bob Bowlsby said Monday, because kicking off Big 12 Football Media Days, all the conference commissioner did was not only predict the end of college sports as we know them, but explain with fairly ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Tour leader Nibali says he’s ‘flag-bearer’ against doping

    CARCASSONNE, France — Barring a disaster for him on French roads from now until Sunday, the man who looks set to win the Tour de France says he understands that cycling is still paying for its longtime doping plague....

    July 22, 2014

  • McIlroy will emerge even stronger than ever

    HOYLAKE, England — The celebration began long before Rory McIlroy had a chance to drink out of the claret jug....

    July 22, 2014

  • Petrino ushers Louisville into ACC

    GREENSBORO, N.C. — Bobby Petrino turned Louisville into a top-10 team nearly a decade ago. Now, more than two years after a scandal derailed his career, Petrino is back with the Cardinals as they enter the Atlantic Coast Conference....

    July 22, 2014

  • Bowlsby:Changes come with a price

    DALLAS — Big 12 Conference Commissioner Bob Bowlsby spoke in a reserved tone Monday. But what he said to begin the Big 12 Football Media Days news conference painted a bleak future for college athletics....

    July 22, 2014

  • Stewart still riding high

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Tony Stewart heads into the busiest week of his year riding high from a win in his return to sprint car racing. Stewart raced in a sprint car last weekend for the first time since he broke his leg in an extracurricular ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Witness: Sterling must sell to pay debts

    LOS ANGELES — The chief financial officer of Donald Sterling’s properties said Monday that the billionaire may be forced to sell a large portion of his real estate empire to cover $500 million in loans if he persists in refusing to sell ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Mikolas pitches Rangers past sloppy Yankees

    NEW YORK — Miles Mikolas earned his first win as a starter, pitching into the eighth inning Monday night and leading the Texas Rangers to a 4-2 victory over the sloppy New York Yankees. Trailing by a run with none on and two outs in the ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Angels with latest big move before deadline

    Oakland general manager Billy Beane acted boldly, trading top prospect Addison Russell in a deal that brought starters Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Athletics....

    July 22, 2014

Facebook