Notes: Mickelson's spirited defense; easy Sunday; more

Phil Mickelson shot a 4-under 68 in Sunday's final-round of the 2014 British Open at Royal Liverpool.

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Open Championship

Royal Liverpool GC, Hoylake, England

7/17/2014 - 7/20/2014

Pos Name Thru Today Overall
1 Rory McIlroy $1,665,788 600 -17
2 Rickie Fowler $785,910 270 -15
2 Sergio Garcia $785,910 270 -15
4 Jim Furyk $478,380 150 -13
5 Marc Leishman $359,639 115 -12
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Phil Mickelson came in with less than his A-game, but in the end made a spirited defense of his Open Championship title.

Shooting a final-round 68, his best round in the majors this year, Mickelson leaves the United Kingdom with more confidence than he had before he hit the shores in Scotland.

“I played well, and I didn't give any shots away and kind of shot what I thought I should shoot over there,” Mickelson said after a round that included five birdies. “It was a good, solid round of 4-under. It was actually a good day for me to kind of get a little bit of confidence, and know that I can get the scores out of it that I feel I deserve and not have to press heading into Akron and the PGA.”

Next up for Mickelson will be Bridgestone in two weeks and then the final major of the 2014 season, the PGA Championship at Valhalla.

A place that Mickelson has positive vibes about after the last U.S. Ryder Cup win in 2008.

“I can't really control the points too much,” Mickelson said of making the team on his own versus being a pick. “I don't want to look at it and think about it too much. If I play like I did this week at Akron and PGA, I'll be fine. I'll be on it. But it would be beneficial for both me and Tom if I can do it on my own.”

• • •

LOW, LOW SCORING: The final day of the Open Championship provided opportunity for unprecedented scoring opportunities, easy hole locations, very little wind and soft conditions – taking all the fire out of the links at Royal Liverpool. The field, for the most part, feasted.

Of the 72 players in the final round, only 19 were over-par and the scoring average was 70.542.

• • •

SHORT SHOTS: Angel Cabrera started the championship with a 76 and ended with a 67 to finish 19th. … Adam Scott was part of the worst end of the draw (late/early) yet shot 69-66 on the weekend to finish tied for fifth with fellow Australian Marc Leishman. … For the week, the hardest hole was the par-4 seventh with a stroke average of 4.366. The easiest was the par-5 10th hole with a stroke average of 4.578.

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