Phil Mickelson celebrates after closing out the British Open in style

USA TODAY Sports

Phil Mickelson is the leader in the clubhouse and could be on his way to winning the Claret Jug. He was all smiles after his round, celebrating with family and friends.

At one point in time, Phil Mickelson had a reputation as a player who couldn't close tournaments. He wasn't a Sunday player, they said. That was far from the case on Sunday where a 5-under 66 has Mickelson in position to win his first Open Championship.

He charged up the leaderboard with a dominant closing stretch. He birdied four of his final six holes, including the last two. Mickelson called the round one of the best he's ever played. He was nearly flawless coming in, including a perfect approach shot at 18 which led to his sixth and final birdie of the day.

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While Mickelson hasn't officially won yet, he's in prime position. He and his caddie Jim Mackay celebrated as they walked off the green, with Mackay shedding a few tears.

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That was only the beginning of the celebration as Mickelson shared a big hug with swing coach Butch Harmon before embracing in a group hug with his family.

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The Open Championship has long been the toughest major for Phil, who hits a higher ball that's typically knocked around in the links wind. He called it his toughest challenge, so this final round 66 could be the best 18-hole stretch of his career. In an interview with ESPN after the round, Mickelson said it felt amazing to be able to share this week and his final round with his family.

More golf from SB Nation:

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Phil celebrates in style

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Final round leaderboard updates and coverage from Muirfield

A guide to Muirfield | A links course defined

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