9 days after his improbable comeback at Muirfield, Mickelson still stunned he won British Open

  • Article by: RUSTY MILLER , AP Sports Writer
  • Updated: July 30, 2013 - 6:30 PM

AKRON, Ohio — Phil Mickelson has no doubt what will be most remembered from his career.

"It will always be the '04 Masters and showing off my Olympic jumping ability," he cracked of his celebratory hop, which will never be mistaken for Michael Jordan leaving the launch pad.

But there's also no question in his mind of what he thinks is his most significant victory.

"For me, personally, (winning) the British Open is the greatest accomplishment I could ever get in my career," he said Tuesday, nine days after capturing the claret jug at Muirfield with a stirring final-round flourish.

After a week off, preparing on Monday for next week's PGA Championship and now trying to focus on this week's Bridgestone Invitational, Mickelson remains stunned that he actually won an event he thought would always be out of his grasp.

He still isn't convinced he actually did it.

"I'm looking forward to in the coming years looking back and remembering Muirfield, remembering the '13 Open and remembering all the things that happened on that back nine," he said during preparations for the Bridgestone Invitational, which begins Thursday.

Mickelson always felt an affinity for Augusta National and the Masters, where he won in 2004, '06 and '10. He erased all the speculation of whether he would ever win a major in 2004, when he rolled in the clinching birdie putt on the 18th and "leaped," his spikes barely leaving the ground.

"I always knew that I was going to win the Masters because I had played well there for so many years," he said.

He also believed he could win a PGA Championship, which he crossed off his list in 2005 at Baltusrol.

Sure, there was the lingering heartache of continually being a bridesmaid at the U.S. Open — a record six times. But at least he was a threat to win it many years.

He thought he did this year at Merion. But he was wrong, as were all of those who thought he was a lock to win American's national championship at some point long before this.

"I had something happen to me Sunday morning of the U.S. Open that was really weird," he said in an almost conspiratorial tone. "When I woke up, I had dreamt that I had already won the U.S. Open."

He felt euphoria. He felt himself lifting the trophy, the gallery roaring for a long awaited and much anticipated triumph.

"It took me over a minute to realize that I haven't played the final round and that I've still got to go out and do it," he said. "And I still have not won it."

The British Open, however, was never his cup of Earl Grey. He floundered in the wind and sideways rain, struggled in the heather and high weeds, fell apart while others made late charges. He was seldom even near the leaderboard.

But that all changed at Muirfield. He's still pinching himself.

"It was so difficult for me to play my best golf in the British Open under those conditions than any other tournament," he said. "To win that is the greatest accomplishment for me in my career."

Now he's trying to focus on what's next, instead of what just happened. That's not easy, but he shows signs of coming out of his post-Muirfield celebration, just in time for the final major of the year, the PGA at Oak Hill.

"There's an opportunity to add to this year and make it every bit as special as it can be," he said, looking ahead. "I want to make sure I give myself every chance to play well because I've been playing some of my best golf the last few months."

He's primed to continue it.

His close friend and Ryder Cup partner, Keegan Bradley, was joking around with Mickelson a couple of days ago. Bradley is the defending champion of the Bridgestone, and teased Mickelson about the lofty title placed on every British Open champion.

"We were double-checking that we were going to play (a practice round at the Bridgestone) on Tuesday, and I said, 'I know you're the Champion Golfer of the Year, but I'll teach you how to play Akron if you want.' He only responded with, 'I won there when you were 9 years old.'"

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Yankees - LP: B. McCarthy 3 FINAL
Toronto - WP: J. Happ 4
Philadelphia - LP: A. Burnett 5 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: D. Gee 6
Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: J. Hughes 2
Minnesota - LP: R. Nolasco 8 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: W. Chen 12
Boston - WP: C. Buchholz 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: A. Cobb 0
Detroit - LP: R. Porcello 2 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: J. Quintana 6
Texas - LP: N. Cotts 2 FINAL
Houston - WP: J. Veras 3
Chicago Cubs - LP: C. Villanueva 6 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: P. Neshek 9
Oakland - LP: S. Kazmir 1 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: M. Shoemaker 8
Milwaukee - LP: K. Lohse 5 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 15
Los Angeles - WP: H. Ryu 7 FINAL
San Diego - LP: E. Stults 1
Washington - LP: T. Roark 3 FINAL
Seattle - WP: H. Iwakuma 5
Colorado - LP: J. De La Rosa 2 FINAL
Arizona - WP: C. Anderson 6
Miami - LP: N. Eovaldi 0 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: A. Wood 1
Cleveland 4 Suspended
Kansas City 2
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
Troy 10 FINAL
UAB 48
(7) UCLA 28 FINAL
Virginia 20
Western Mich 34 FINAL
Purdue 43
(5) Ohio State 34 FINAL
Navy 17
Appalachian St 14 FINAL
Michigan 52
Ga Southern 23 FINAL
NC State 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Massachusetts 7
West Virginia 23 FINAL
(2) Alabama 33
Rice 17 FINAL
(17) Notre Dame 48
(10) South Dakota St 18 FINAL
(24) Missouri 38
Fla Atlantic 7 FINAL
(22) Nebraska 55
California 31 FINAL
Northwestern 24
Marshall 42 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 27
UC Davis 0 FINAL
(11) Stanford 45
Arkansas 21 FINAL
(6) Auburn 45
(16) Clemson 21 FINAL
(12) Georgia 45
Liberty 29 FINAL
(23) North Carolina 56
Ohio U 17 FINAL
Kent State 14
Louisiana Tech 16 FINAL
(4) Oklahoma 48
Stephen F Austin 16 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 55
Fresno State 13 FINAL
(15) USC 52
Southern Miss 0 FINAL
Miss State 49
Texas-El Paso 31 FINAL
New Mexico 24
North Texas 7 FINAL
Texas 38
(1) Florida State 37 FINAL
Oklahoma State 31
(14) Wisconsin 24 FINAL
(13) LSU 28
Idaho 0 Postponed
Florida 0
South Dakota 13 FINAL
(3) Oregon 62
(25) Washington 17 FINAL
Hawaii 16
Utah State 7 FINAL
Tennessee 38
SMU 0 FINAL
(10) Baylor 45
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Red Bull New York 0 FINAL
D.C. 2
Los Angeles 3 FINAL
Chivas USA 0
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 30 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
Toronto 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 3:30 PM
Calgary
Phoenix 77 FINAL
Minnesota 82
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close