GULLANE, Scotland - Phil Mickelson turned US Open despair to British Open delight as he tamed Muirfield to claim his fifth major golf title.
One month after his heartbreak at the US Open, where he was runner-up for a record sixth time, the 43-year-old American left-hander produced the round of his life on Sunday to win his first Claret Jug.
Taking full advantage of another collapse by Australian Adam Scott, Mickelson came down the brutal back nine at the famed Scottish links course in 32, with birdies on four of the last six holes, for a five-under 66.
It gave him a three under total of 281, three strokes clear of Henrik Stenson of Sweden, who had a closing 70.
Third place was shared by Masters champion Scott, runner-up at last year's event, and English pair Lee Westwood (75) and Ian Poulter (67).
Mickelson won in what was his 20th Open campaign to add to his major titles won at the Masters of 2004, 2006 and 2010 and the PGA Championship of 2005.
He experienced the entire gamut of emotions in the space of five short weeks after his record six runner-up defeat at the US Open behind Justin Rose.
"This is such an accomplishment because I never knew whether I'd be able to develop my game to play links golf. I played arguably the best round of my career, and shot the round of my life," Mickelson said.
"The range of emotions I feel are as far apart as possible after losing the US Open. To win this feels amazing.
"You have to be resilient in this game. These last couple of weeks, these last couple of months, I've played some of the best golf of my career."
Scott, who squandered a four-shot lead with four to play at last year's Open was again left to rue a horrid back-nine collapse.
After taking a one-shot lead with six holes to play, four straight bogeys denied him a chance to win a second major title and replicate his idol Greg Norman, the last Australian to win the event in 1993.