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Monday, July 22, 2013

The Limerick Summary: 2013 Open Championship

Winner: Phil Mickelson

Around the wider world of golf: Beatriz Recari won for the second time this season at the LPGA's Marathon Classic;  Ssu-Chia Cheng won the Taiwan LPGA Chung Cheng Ladies Open on the LAGT; Yumiko Yoshida won the Samantha Thavasa Ladies on the JLPGA (the Constructivist has details); Jamie Lovemark won the Midwest Classic on the Web.com Tour; and Woody Austin (remember Aquaman from the Presidents Cup?) won the Sanderson Farms Championship, the PGA Tour's alternate event, at the ripe old age of 49. (Way to go, Woody!) Neither Nicholas nor Lexi Thompson won their tournaments, but both got Top5s and Lexi won a car with a hole-in-one.

Phil did WHAT?

Phil did WHAT?!?!?

Aren't we used to seeing almost anything from Phil by now?
  • We said he couldn't play links golf... so he won the Scottish Open on a links course.
  • We said he couldn't win the Open Championship, that his game didn't fit it... then he turns in what is arguably the best final round of his life to do just that on a much tougher links course.
  • Did we mention that he absolutely defied logic by winning both links events back-to-back, when players rarely ever win the week before a major?
  • Oh, and did we mention that he made history by becoming the first man to win the Scottish Open and the Open Championship back-to-back?
  • Did we ever expect him to get the third leg of the career slam as his 5th major? Been there, done that...
I don't need to go into everything that happened -- if you haven't seen the footage enough times yet, let me just say that he started the day 5 back, then shot 4-under on the final 6 holes to win by 3. And he did it on the heels of that loss at Merion, which Tim Rosaforte reported depressed him enough that he had trouble just getting out of bed for a couple of days. This is on the scale of Rory's comeback after the Masters loss to win the US Open.

And in case you missed it, Phil proved he can even joke about it now. When ESPN's Tom Rinaldi ended his interview by saying that Phil now had 3 legs of the career grand slam, Phil quipped, "And if 6 seconds counted as a win, I'd have all 4."

Phil will jump to #2 on the OWGR today but he leaps all the way to #1 on my own RGWR. I figure anybody to who makes history and beats his own demons (both in style of play and in overcoming a personal barrier) while snagging his 5th career major -- and this IS his 3rd win this season, after all -- jumps a player whose 5 wins don't include a major. In addition, Phil has 2 big wins since Tiger got his 5th one, and more Top5s overall. This is a game of "what have you done for me lately?," after all.

This week's Limerick Summary salutes Phil the Thrill, who proved he still has a lot of tricks left in that grab bag of his:
The Merion loss left him reeling…
But from five shots back, this win was stealing!
Phil’s rush to the front
Promptly ended the hunt
For the Jug. It’s a much better feeling!
The photo came from the Open Championship page at majorschampionships.com.

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