GULLANE, Scotland (AP) — Phil Mickelson is mystified no more by links golf. He has his name etched in a silver claret jug to prove it. The 43-year-old Mickelson delivered his best closing round ever in a major Sunday — at the British Open — when he ran off four birdies over the last six holes for a 5-under 66 at Muirfield to win the third leg of the career Grand Slam.
"This is such an accomplishment for me because I just never knew if I'd be able to develop the game to play links golf effectively," said Mickelson, the Scottish Open winner a week earlier. "To play the best round arguably of my career, to putt better than I've ever putted, to shoot the round of my life ... it feels amazing to win the claret jug."
At the end of a rough-and-tumble week, Mickelson was the only player under par — at 3 under. He wound up with a three-shot win over Henrik Stenson, one of four players atop the leaderboard during a final round that was up for grabs until Mickelson seized control in the final hour.
Lee Westwood, who started Sunday with a two-shot lead, fell behind for the first time all day with a bogey on the 13th and never recovered. He shot 75 to tie for third at 1 over with Ian Poulter (67) and Masters champion Adam Scott (72). Tiger Woods, in his best position to win a major since the crisis in his personal life, stumbled badly on his way to a 74. He tied for sixth, five stroke back.
MARATHON CLASSIC SYLVANIA, Ohio (AP) — Spain's Beatriz Recari outdueled Paula Creamer in a head-to-head battle to win the Marathon Classic for her second LPGA Tour victory of the year and third overall.
Recari and Creamer, who won the tournament then known as the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic five years ago, started the day tied for first, three shots ahead of their nearest pursuers. They traded the lead but were still even until Recari birdied the par-3 14th.
The 26-year-old Recari closed with a 5-under 66 to finish at 17-under 267. She missed a 6-foot birdie putt on the 17th, but made a clutch 5-footer for par at the 18th. Creamer finished with a 67. The American is winless since the 2010 U.S. Women's Open.
SANDERSON FARMS CHAMPIONSHIP MADISON, Mississippi (AP) — Woody Austin won the Sanderson Farms Classic for his first PGA Tour victory since 2007, beating Cameron Beckman and Daniel Summerhays with an 8-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a playoff.
The 49-year-old Austin is the eighth-oldest winner in PGA Tour history and the oldest since Fred Funk at 50 in 2007. Austin was making his fourth PGA Tour start of the year. He has four career victories.
Austin came into the final round two shots behind Summerhays and Nicholas Thompson, but made up ground with a 5-under 67 to finish at 20-under 268. Beckman and Summerhays both birdied No. 18 to match Austin, and Beckman missed a 5-foot putt that would have forced a second playoff hole.
CYCLING PARIS (AP) — Chris Froome won the 100th Tour de France on Sunday and immediately vowed that his victory wouldn't be stripped for doping as Lance Armstrong's were. "This is one yellow jersey that will stand the test of time," said the British rider who dominated rivals over three weeks on the road and adroitly dealt with doping suspicions off it.
Exceptionally, the 100th Tour treated itself to a nighttime finish on the Champs-Elysees. The famous avenue and the Arc de Triomphe at the top of it were bathed in yellow light — emphasizing the canary yellow of Froome's famous jersey.
TENNIS BASTAD, Sweden (AP) — Serena Williams won her 53rd WTA title Sunday, beating Johanna Larsson 6-4, 6-1 in the final of the Swedish Open. The 24-year-old Swede broke to lead 3-1 in the first set before Williams fought back to 3-3. Larsson advanced to 4-3 before caving in to Williams' strong serve, losing the next three games.
Williams, coming off a fourth-round loss to Sabine Lisicki at Wimbledon, dominated the second set, breaking Larsson's serve twice. Williams also defeated the 76th-ranked Larsson in their only previous match in the Fed Cup earlier this year.
SOCCER Phil Woosnam, the former Welsh soccer star who served as the North American Soccer League's commissioner and had a brief stint as coach of the U.S. national team, has died. He was 80. U.S. Soccer said Sunday that Woosnam died Friday in Dunwoody, Georgia, of complications related to prostate cancer and Alzheimer's disease.
Woosnam played for a number of English clubs during a 16-year professional career and earned 17 caps with the Welsh national team. He became the U.S. coach in 1968, serving in the role for nine games.
He won the NASL's first coach of the year award, for the Atlanta Chiefs in 1968, before taking over as commissioner, a position he held until 1982. The league folded after the 1984 season. NBA WEST BERLIN, New Jersey (AP) — Two NBA championship rings that Kobe Bryant gave to his parents each sold for more than $100,000 at an auction that supported one of his charities.
Goldin Auctions said six items of Bryant's memorabilia items sold for a combined $433,531 in the monthlong auction that closed early Saturday morning. A 2000 Lakers championship ring gifted by Bryant to his father, Joe, sold for $174,184. A ring given to his mother, Pamela, from the same championship season went for $108,153.
Bryant had filed a suit against the auction company, saying his mother didn't have the right to sell the items. A settlement was reached last month allowing six items to be auctioned. BASEBALL HOUSTON (AP) — Astros manager Bo Porter defended Erik Bedard's decision to remove himself from Saturday night's game against Seattle with a no-hitter in the seventh inning because of a high pitch count and said he wouldn't have let the left-hander stay in much longer.
Bedard, who has had three shoulder surgeries, chose to leave the game after working 6 1-3 because he had thrown 109 pitches. Porter said before Sunday's game against Seattle that he would have pulled Bedard at 120 pitches. He said he trusts that the 34-year-old Bedard knows his body and how far he can push himself.
Bedard was replaced by Jose Cisnero, who gave up a two-run double to Michael Saunders. MONTREAL (AP) — A crew of Montreal Expos fans, willing to do just about anything to get their team back, drove to Toronto to watch the Blue Jays.
Organizers say about 1,000 Expos supporters, hoping to attract the attention of baseball's movers and shakers, packed into the outfield bleachers at the Rogers Centre on Saturday for the Blue Jays' game against the Tampa Bay Rays. The group wore the traditional red, white and baby blue of the former Expos, who relocated in 2004 and became the Washington Nationals.
Nearly a decade after the Expos left town, there is a small but growing movement to bring a team back to the city.