Alec Swann - Let’s marvel at Mickelson

Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.
Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.
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Plenty has happened in the past week that’s worth passing comment on.

England annihilating Australia in the Ashes - well so they should as they’re a far superior outfit.

Chris Froome winning the Tour de France - a splendid effort and because he’s a cyclist who few have probably heard of he’s a shoo-in for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year prize.

Wayne Rooney’s unhappiness at Old Trafford because he’s playing second fiddle to Robin Van Persie - the Dutchman’s a better player and hasn’t the Scouser used the disillusioned tactic in the past to get a pay rise?

Luis Suarez potentially going to Arsenal - who cares?

Or perhaps the legacy of the Olympics from 12 months ago - a worthy subject but one that is difficult to quantify.

However, none of the above have really encouraged inspiration so I’m going to opt for Phil Mickelson’s masterly display in the final round of the Open at Muirfield.

Having viewed a fair amount of the BBC’s excellent coverage and seen just how tricky a course those competing had to contend with, it can’t be understated how good the American’s effort on Sunday was.

His round of 66, with such a strong finish of four birdies in the final six holes, was that of a bona fide golfing superstar and one that deserves to be ranked up there with the very best.

Add to the equation the fact that Mickelson has had to temper his ultra-aggressive style to suit the unique conditions presented by traditional links layouts and you have even more to marvel at.

A sign of sporting greatness is that the protagonist can up a gear when the situation demands it.

Plenty put themselves in the thick of it only to falter when it ultimately comes to the crunch, Colin Montgomerie and Lee Westwood readily spring to mind in a golfing context, but this was a perfect example of pressure elevating an individual rather than making them cower.

And it was a pleasure to watch.