Phil Mickelson accepts Claret Jug after 2013 British Open Championship

Rob Carr

Lefty and his caddie cap perhaps the best day of his career.

Phil Mickelson called Sunday's win at The Open Championship the most fulfilling of his career, a win built on an incredible Sunday final round of 66 that might be the best 18-hole stretch of his career. For Mickelson, getting the Claret Jug was clearly the most difficult major championship task he faced. The U.S. Open is his white whale, but at least he always contends there and probably will again. The Open, on the other hand, had always confounded Phil and his high-ball hitting ways, the links wind often wiping out his chances before he even got to Sunday. After the win, he said he didn't know if he'd ever have the game and the shots equipped for The Open.

But Mickelson's form has developed over time and to the point where he now appreciates the links-style European golf. And that was on display Sunday when he put on a clinic to finish as the only player under par, running away with a three-shot win. It was his fifth major championship, but his first Open and he happily grasped the Claret Jug, the most famous trophy in golf:

Phil1_medium

Mickelson, who hilariously fumbled away his Scottish Open trophy last week, will get to keep the actual jug (not a replica) for a full year. He and caddie Jim "Bones" Mackay will undoubtedly enjoy some beverages out of the jug. Mackay was especially emotional following the win, reflecting on the disappointment of Merion a month ago and then Sunday's incredible round. He broke down at the side of the 18th green as Phil accepted the trophy and thanked his family and longtime caddie:

Bones_medium

It was the second time Mackay got emotional, as he broke down a bit walking off the 18th green with Phil. There were still eight players out on the course, but almost everyone knew the birdie putt at No. 18 had sealed it up. So Bones wept:

Philcaddie_medium

Mackay called it the best round he's ever seen his loop play.

A pretty cool day for one of best golfers in the history of the game. Now, about that U.S. Open to finish off the career slam...

More golf from SB Nation:

Phil gets his first Open

Phil celebrates in style

Tiger curses his way through final round at Muirfield

GIFs: Rinaldi laugh is back | Snedeker goes around the world

Final round leaderboard updates and coverage from Muirfield

A guide to Muirfield | A links course defined

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.