- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
Muirfield moments and a British Open to remember
Question of the Day
GULLANE, SCOTLAND (AP) - On the day after a British Open that will be talked about for years, it was time for Muirfield to return to normal. Workers dismantled the green seats in all the grandstands. Trucks carried out supplies from the tented village. The blue name plates of players were removed from the lockers.
Still towering over the 18th green was that enormous, glorious, yellow scoreboard with all the letters and numbers in place.
“Well done, Phil. See you at Royal Liverpool.”
On the left side of the board were the names, numbers and memories of Muirfield. Phil Mickelson with a red “3” next to his name, the only player under par. Henrik Stenson. Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Adam Scott. Zach Johnson, Hideki Matsuyama and _ at the bottom _ Tiger Woods.
Four players had a share of the lead Sunday. Twice as many looked as though they might walk away with the claret jug. It might have been one of the best, deepest leaderboards in the final round of a major in 20 years. Last one: Inverness in the PGA Championship, when Paul Azinger beat Greg Norman in a playoff, and the contenders included Nick Faldo, Vijay Singh, Tom Watson, John Cook, Lanny Wadkins, and even a young Californian named Mickelson.
Muirfield has the greatest collection of winners of any major championship _ only two of its 16 champions aren’t in the Hall of Fame (one is Ted Ray, who should be). Every great course is due to have a dud for a major champion. Oakmont had Sam Parks Jr. Medinah had Lou Graham.
There was no way that was going to happen at Muirfield.
Of the nine players who had at least an outside chance on the back nine, it was a toss-up between Stenson and Hunter Mahan of those who had the least credentials. Stenson has won The Players Championship and a World Golf Championship. Mahan has two WGC titles and was playing in the final group at his second straight major.
That set the stage for Mickelson to play what he believes to be the best round of his career. By numbers alone, it was his lowest final round of a major. On a course that didn’t yield a single bogey-free round all week, Mickelson only dropped a shot at the 10th hole. The scoring average for Sunday was just under 73.5. Mickelson shot 66, matching the lowest score of the tournament. It was the lowest final round ever at Muirfield, and the lowest by an Open champion since Justin Leonard shot 65 at Royal Troon in 1997.
The greatest final round in a major?
Just about anything will be tough to beat Jack Nicklaus with a 65 at the 1986 Masters when he won his sixth green jacket and 18th professional major at 46. Johnny Miller will tell you _ he probably already has _ that his 63 at Oakmont in 1973 was pretty good. He is the only major champion with a 63 on Sunday. For pure theater, there was Tom Watson’s 65 at Turnberry when he beat Nicklaus by one shot in the “Duel in the Sun.”
What made this so compelling was Mickelson.
A four-time major champion, he had only contended twice in the British Open. Muirfield has a short history of players winning the claret jug with help from other’s misfortunes. That’s often true in majors to some degree, but not this one. Mickelson seized it with four birdies on the last six holes, and a momentum-saving par on the 16th when he used his 60-degree wedge for a shot so many others would have putted _ a thin lie, up a steep slope to a green with a false front to 8 feet to set up a tough putt.
“I don’t want anybody to hand it to me,” Mickelson said. “I want to go out and get it. And today, I did.”
By Mark Davis
The nation founders, the Lone Star State thrives
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- Rahm Emanuel: Send illegal immigrant shelter kids to Chicago
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- CURL: Obama, staffers not even pretending any more
- HUSAIN: Fleeing Iraqi Christians find safe haven at the Shrine of Imam Ali
- DCCC raising money on suggestion Obama impeachment is imminent
- Washington Times strikes content and marketing partnership with Redskins
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Family of Marine killed in Afghanistan pushes back against cover-up
- Pentagon running out of time to find mass of missing weapons in Afghanistan
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq