This year’s Scottish Open champion is Phil Mickelson, who birdied the first playoff hole to come out on top of Branden Grace. The win ended Mickelson’s 20-year wait for a victory in Europe.
Mickelson’s goal for the Scottish Open was more about honing his game before next week’s British Open, but the win was still a great outcome for the golfer. He stated afterward, “I almost let it slip away, but to come out on top feels terrific.”
Mickelson lost out on a win in regulation when he three-putted the 72nd hole. But he ended with a fantastic pitch from 45 yards that landed less than a foot from the 18th pin. Grace’s putt rolled by the hole, allowing the American the victory.
The 43-year-old can now boast 48 professional wins worldwide and is all set to tee off at the British Open on Thursday as No. 5 in the world. And with the Scottish Open win, Phil Mickelson is also $740,000 richer.
Along with a Scottish crowd that appeared to love him, Mickelson is a long-time supporter of the tournament and a lover of Scotland and its links courses.
The American and Grace both shot three-under 69s in the final round, finishing on 17-under 271 and overhaul former leader Henrick Stenson, who bogeyed three of his final six holes to tie for third with Dane J.B. Hansen.
While the Scottish Open’s first three days were calm and sunny, the wind picked up on Sunday along the coastline, making the course more challenging than previous days. Only five players were able to shoot under 70. While Grace was a challenge for Mickelson, the 43-year-old only needed to par the 72nd hole to get a victory.
Despite being frustrated that he didn’t win in regulation, he kept his nerves in the playoff. Mickelson added of the day, “The people here in Scotland have treated us so well. I’ve really enjoyed my time here.”
He also thanked the weather at the Scottish Open for preparing him for next week, going on to say, “Although I did a lot of things well, I have certainly things to work on.”