GULLANE, Scotland -- For more than 21 years, the entire length of Phil Mickelson's professional career, Jim "Bones" Mackay has traveled the world, lugging a golf bag and dispensing wisdom through a journey that saw his boss achieve greatness.
But never had he cried after a victory.
The tears flowed Sunday evening in the Scottish mist, a most improbable win for Mickelson completed in stunning, awe-inspiring fashion at treacherous Muirfield, where the wind whipped off the Firth of Forth.
A final-round 66 closed out a decisive victory at the 142nd Open Championship, with Mickelson coming from five strokes back to win his fifth major championship and capture the game's oldest trophy, the Claret Jug.
"You're with a guy for all that time and it's pretty cool when you see him play the best round of his career in the last round of the British Open to win," Mackay said. "He played the best round of golf I've ever seen him play."
There have been a lot of great rounds for Mickelson in a Hall of Fame career, but it's hard to argue with this one. He needed just 26 putts in matching the best round of the tournament, and was the only player in the last 11 groups to break 70 -- doing so by four strokes.
He birdied four of the last six holes and closed with a back-nine 32 to claim the third leg of a career Grand Slam. Mickelson has won the Masters three times and the PGA Championship once.
Third-round leader Lee Westwood shot a 75 to drop into a tie for third. Hunter Mahan, who was 2 strokes back to begin the day, shot a 75 and tied for ninth. Tiger Woods was also within two shots when the final round began, but shot a 74 to see his winless streak in majors stretch to 17 with a tie for sixth.
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