Open Championship: What they said

  • Last Updated: July 21 2013, 22:30 BST

Our team at the Open Championship bring you the reaction from Muirfield after a dramatic final round.

Open Championship: What they said

Phil Mickelson (66)

"This is just a day and a moment that I will cherish forever. This is a really special time, and as fulfilling a career accomplishment as I could ever imagine. I'm playing some of the best golf of my career. It's the best I've ever putted. Today will be one of the most memorable rounds of golf I've ever played.

"It's probably the greatest and most difficult win of my career. It is great to be part of any Open Championship and to win at Muirfield feels amazing. I did enjoy links golf when I first played at the Walker Cup in 1991 at Portmarnock. It was a wonderful test but the conditions and the penalty for missed shots in the Open Championship are much more severe than we played then. And it took me a while to figure it out, I would say.

"It's been the last eight or nine years I've started playing it more effectively, I've started to hit the shots more effectively. But even then it's so different than what I grew up playing. I always wondered if I would develop the skills needed to win this championship. This has been the biggest challenge for me to overcome and capture this championship, this trophy.

"The range of emotions I feel are as far apart as possible in the last month after such a tough loss. You have to be resilient in this game and take losses and use them as motivation to work harder and come back stronger.

"I was behind the whole day and I was one over for the championship when I was on 13. I hit a really good five iron in there (to 10ft) and it was a putt that was going to make the rest of the round go one way or another. I just thought if I made it it would give me some momentum, get me to even par for the championship, a score I thought had a good chance of being enough.

"And that putt went in and it just gave me a nice momentum boost, because it's very hard to make birdies out here. You're not going to hit it to tap-in distance and that was as close as I thought I would have a chance at birdie coming in.

"I had a good opportunity to make another one on 14 and I did. I made some good pars on 15 and 16 and when I was walking up 17, that was the moment that I had to kind of compose myself, because I hit two of the best 3-woods I've ever hit. That is exactly why I don't have a driver in the bag.

"Those two 3-woods were the two best shots of the week, to get it on that green. As I was walking up to the green, that was when I realised that this is very much my championship in my control and I was getting a little emotional.

"I had to kind of take a second to slow down my walk and try to regain composure because not only do I still need a two-putt birdie, but I also needed to make a tough par on 18, and I fortunately made birdie on both."

Henrik Stenson (70)

"I'm very pleased with my performance over the week and today more so than yesterday. I thought I was in a good frame of mind and played some good golf. I've made some great improvements this season, getting back into form. I know it might sound silly and a bit stupid to say that I didn't feel overly confident with some parts of my game.

"But I still managed to keep it together. I've played this golf course very well. Even though I made a few mistakes, I haven't made some big mistakes that kind of put me out of the tournament. Mentally I've been in a good place all week and I've done a lot of good stuff, but I'm still feeling like I could up it a little bit.

"It would be nice to be there just feeling a little bit more confident with my game so I'm going to keep on trying to put myself into these positions going forward and hopefully we can close the deal in the near future."

"It was not the right time to make those two bogeys if you want to win an Open Championship but the key to success and winning tournaments is to move forward and I did that. I didn't let it set me back and finished off in good style. I made par on every other hole and birdie on 17. It was just to finish in strong style to keep second on my own and I did that. It's been a solid week and I'm very happy with the performance. We're getting closer. I've got two thirds and now a second (in the Open). We all know what we're longing for."

"Experience is obviously a key factor and a big factor in these weeks and I'm gaining experience. I've learned a lot this week, this weekend and this week in general. I'm ready to be back at it next year or at the PGA Championship, which is the next major that we have (next month). Hopefully I can do the same as I've done here and put myself in another good position. It's a marathon to be there Sunday on the back nine and I was there. Of course I want to make it happen but all you can do is ask to give yourself a chance and I did that. "If I'd had the finish that Phil had then it could have been the other way around but all credit to Phil, we know he's a world-class player. He's a very worthy champion after that finish."

Tiger Woods (74)

"You know what, I had a hard time adjusting to the speeds. They were much slower today, much softer. I don't think I got too many putts to the hole today. I really had a hard time and left myself a couple of long lag putts early on when it was really blowing, and left them way short and didn't make those putts. I didn't really play that poorly. I hit a couple of bad shots at 10, 11, that was about it and at three. But other than that I really hit the ball well today. I was just -- I just couldn't ever get the pace of these things.

"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 thought today they would be faster, given it's Sunday, and I thought they would let it go, but they actually got it even softer.

"I've won 14 (majors) 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."

Adam Scott (72)

"I let a great chance slip, I felt, during the middle of the round and that's disappointing. I'm happy I put myself in chance to - my game is in great shape, that's the good thing to take from it. But I didn't get to the number that Phil finished on, but I was right there. Had I played a little more solid in the middle of that back nine, I could have had a chance coming in.

"I wasn't watching the boards so much, and I didn't really know what exactly was going on. But I knew that the way I was going wasn't going to be any good. But I was playing fine. And I hadn't got off to a good start any day out here. I just had to keep hitting good shots and being patient. And the putter was feeling pretty good, to be fair today, at that point, anyway. And then rolled a few in and got the momentum going, but just kind of lost it a bit there on 13, aimed the putt a bit further right than I should have and missed. And then obviously made a bad error on the read on 14 from the back right.

"I'm happy with my week, other than I didn't win. But I lived up to my expectations of putting myself in contention with a chance. And it will just have to go down in the experience book and something to build on again."

Lee Westwood (75)

"I wanted to end on the 18th green right now, that's pretty obvious. No, I didn't really play well enough today. I didn't play badly, but I didn't play great. It's a tough golf course, and you've got to have your "A" game.

"I said in the press center last night, sometimes you play well and somebody plays a bit better, and sometimes you plays poorly. I didn't really do either today and Phil obviously played well. But you've got to play well to give yourself your own momentum, and I just couldn't get there today.

"I putted lovely this week. I made my fair share. So there was a lot of positives to take out. I didn't really feel like I had my "A" game. I didn't feel like I was striking the ball well. I was amazed to be in the lead going into the fourth round, because every time I turned into the wind I was really struggling.

"I'm not too disappointed. I don't really get disappointed with golf anymore. I finished top three in a major championship. I would like to have won, but you can't not take positives from top three in a major.

Ian Poulter (66)

"Obviously very, very pleased. To start the day eight back and right now I'm three off the lead. I managed to chop into the guys' lead somewhat around the turn, making eagle and three birdies there to start the back nine. I really put myself in a nice position. It's a shame to bogey 16, not birdie 17. But four-under par today in those circumstances was obviously a very good round of golf. I'm pleased but I can certainly look back and look at a couple of putts that probably slipped by, which might be what's required to have put my hands on the trophy, but we'll have to wait and see.

"The greens have definitely slowed down just a touch. I think the cloud cover today definitely kept some moisture in the greens. I think the speed of the course on Thursday is probably as fast as they needed it to be, and they've definitely had to back it off. If you look at the scores right now, not that they were trying to set a score for anybody to be under par or over par, but they got it pretty much spot on, I think. They had to slow it down a touch, and it's definitely played better for that.

"It's been an incredible summer, if you have to look at it that way. And obviously Justin's win, especially, I think being a close friend, someone that I've played a lot of golf with throughout the years, I was very proud to see him win that. And obviously it certainly spurred a lot of us guys to think that we can do exactly the same. So it's been a great summer for British sport."

Matthew Fitzpatrick (73)

"Really proud, yeah. Really proud. What it showed me is I can sort of compete with these guys. But I do know where they are; they are better. The big thing for me that showed today was Fred Couples hit putter from everywhere. He must have holed two from off the green. He putted fantastic. That's the difference. They hole the long ones. And that's not quite where I am. I've holed one today, so it was a nice bonus.

"it's been brilliant all week, the support. I could go on and on about it, but it's been amazing. Down 18 was pretty nice, to be fair. Although I did say to my caddie that I was hoping for a full grandstand, but he did say, "You're making a bit of a big wish there." It was just amazing. To hole out, as well, on the last one from about ten feet was a great way to finish. I didn't fancy a little one-foot tap-in. I thought it would be a bit boring."

"The big thing for me was on the first day when I got asked if I'd got close to Tiger. That was a bit strange. And seeing Tiger on the range, for him to be so near was like one of the best things ever, really. It has been surreal, especially with the guys I've played with. I've said it a lot, but every single person I played with couldn't have been nicer to me."

Stewart Cink (69)

"The wind is lighter. And it may get up later, I don't know. But it's lighter. This cloud cover, I think, will keep the wind down. If it gets sunny it will get up. The greens are a little more receptive. I actually fixed three pitch marks today and that's the most of the week by far. I think that brings my grand total up by four. Three pitch marks today. You're flying the ball more to the distance that you're accustomed to on a course with firm greens, and not just crazy things short of the hole and short of the green, like we were earlier.

"It's been difficult. I've not been frustrated with the golf course at all. As far as links golf, it's as good as links ever has gotten. It's just wonderful. It makes you think on every single shot, and it's a puzzle out there. I've been frustrated with my own game because I didn't think I handled the conditions very well, especially on the back nine. The back nine this week, I just never felt comfortable. I don't know what the scoring averages are, if it's a tougher nine holes, but it felt like it was more difficult for me. So I was frustrated by my own golf.

"But the golf course itself presented fabulously by the R&A. With the exception of a couple of those pin placements. I don't need to beat that horse; it's already been beaten to death. It's really a wonderful place to play. I had so much fun this week, I hate that it's over."


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