Steve DiMeglio, USA TODAY Sports
While Mickelson made his breakthrough in the British Open to add the Claret Jug to his three Masters titles and a win in the PGA Championship, Tiger Woods remained stuck on 14 majors, closing with a 74 to finish in a tie for sixth. Woods has now made 17 starts in a major since winning his last in the 2008 U.S. Open.
"It was frustrating. I played well. I could just never get the speed (of the greens) right," Woods said. "We started on the first day and it progressively got slower. And that's usually the opposite at most tournaments. It usually gets faster as the week goes on, but this week it was different.
" ... I'm very pleased with the way I'm playing, there's no doubt. I'm right there and I hit a ton of good shots this week, and the only thing that I would look back on this week is I just never got the speed after the first day, because it progressively got slower.
" ... I've won 14 and in that spell where I haven't won since Torrey, I've been in there. It's not like I've lost my card and not playing out here. So I've won some tournaments in that stretch and I've been in probably about half the majors on the back nine on Sunday with a chance to win during that stretch. I just haven't done it yet. And hopefully it will be in a few weeks."
And it wasn't a merry old time in England. Favorite son Lee Westwood, the overnight leader who was looking for his first major title in 62 starts, failed to hold on to the lead he took to the inward nine. Desperately hoping to join the brilliant British Summer of Sport that has seen Andy Murray crowned the king of Wimbledon, the British and Irish Lions rugby squad win the tour series in Australia, and Chris Froome on his way to becoming the second consecutive Brit to win the Tour de France, Westwood stumbled with his usually superb iron play.
"I keep putting myself in contention," said Westwood, who notched his eighth top-three finish in a major since the start of 2008. "I didn't do a lot wrong today. I just didn't do enough right. I know what I've got to work on."