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 Big 12 could fill NCAA’s vacuum; make the discipline calls, too

    It doesn’t look good for Joe Mixon.  Though his attorney, Kevin Finlay, said the most ballyhooed prospect of the Sooners’ most recent recruiting class “instinctually defended himself against further harm,” it just doesn’t ...

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tang making a splash on state level

    The Sooner Swim Club has produced a long string of great athletes in Norman. Norman North has won back-to-back state championships and senior Justin Wu owns several state records and last week qualified for the U.S. National swim meet. The ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Bradford facing another year of scrutiny in newest season

    ST. LOUIS — It’s become a rite of training camp for Sam Bradford. Every summer, he deals with the oversized burden of living up to getting picked first overall in 2010. The St. Louis Rams quarterback is not surprised that once again, he’s ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Judge rules against owner Donald Sterling, but lengthy saga far from over

    LOS ANGELES — Embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling lost his attempt to block the $2 billion sale of the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer....

    July 29, 2014

  • T-Wolves land guard Mo Williams

    MINNEAPOLIS — Mo Williams is on his way to Minnesota, which means J.J. Barea could be on his way out....

    July 29, 2014

  • LSU freshmen face misdemeanors

    BATON ROUGE, La. — Two LSU freshmen football players face charges, one for allegedly stealing a bicycle outside Middleton Library and the other for allegedly tossing firecrackers into a campus apartment....

    July 29, 2014

  • Fitzgerald says players’ push for union brought Northwestern together

    CHICAGO — No matter how this season unfolds, Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald insisted there is no more unified team than his Wildcats. For that, he credits the push for them to unionize....

    July 29, 2014

  • Delany rides fence with PSU

    CHICAGO — Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany took a non-committal stance on an effort by five Pennsylvania Congressmen to rescind sanctions against Penn State for its handling of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal....

    July 29, 2014

  • Murray St. aims to be OVC contenders

    Fifth-year Murray State coach Chris Hatcher has returned the program to OVC relevance thanks to his exciting “Hatch Attack” offense. The Racers will need more results if they hope to be serious contenders....

    July 29, 2014

  • Healthy Claiborne ready to show his worth to Cowboys

    OXNARD, Calif. — Morris Claiborne got on Terrance Williams’ nerves the minute the competition started at training camp for the Dallas Cowboys....

    July 29, 2014

Facebook