For some sports fans and people in general golf can be a boring game. True, it can be if you don’t follow the story lines in the game. It’s one of the few sports where the gallery cheers for great golf and no one “boo’s” players or shots. Golf fans just want to see the game played well. And that’s exactly what happened on Sunday at the British Open.
Phil Mickelson started Sunday’s final day of the British Open five shots behind the leader, Lee Westwood. But golf saw more than a 66 on his scorecard that put him 3-under par. They saw more than Mickelson birdieing four of his final six holes. As a 12-foot birdie putt rolled in on the 18th green, Mickelson and his caddie Mackey embraced as they witnessed the greatest round of golf in Mickelson’s career. Mickelson tried to hide his glassy eyes while Mackay let the tears flow.
Holding the Claret Jug was a moment of relief, disbelief, and the momentum to believe that after his heartbreaking loss at the US Open on his birthday (and it happened to be Father’s day) that the Lefty still has a lot of great golf in him.
There are only five players that have a career Grand Slam, (The Masters, The US Open, the British Open, and the PGA Championship) and their names are Gene Sarazen, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, and Ben Hogan. Mickelson is now only a US Open away from engraving his legacy in the history books. With five major championship wins and six-second place finishes at the US Open, he’s too close and with time, he will eventually win.
There was another moment in Muirfield.
On the final round Tiger Woods was paired with the Australian dream, Adam Scott whose caddie is Steve Williams- Tiger’s former caddie and close friend. Tiger won 13 of his 14 major championships with Williams carrying his clubs. Tiger fired Williams in 2011 and the two were as close as Tiger and Sergio. It was the biggest breakup in golf and with their personal egos and stubbornness it seemed the tension between them would never fade.
But once Woods and Scott completed the Open Championship, the old friends shook hands and had a breakthrough moment. The game of golf exhaled and the grass seemed a little bit greener as the two had a brief conversation. What was said is unclear, but it was a sign that time heals everything on and off the course.