The Open Championship: Phil Rises To Raise the Jug

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Phil Mickelson becomes the latest golfer to have his name engraved on the famous Claret Jug.

The Open Championship from Muirfield has not lacked drama at all this week. Playing in rough conditions, the normal names rose to the top of the leaderboard playing the golf we all love to watch. For the first two rounds it looked like Tiger Woods, Lee Westwood, and Hunter Mahan were the ones to beat as they played the course with the right amount of strategy and precision, yet the day and tournament belongs to one man and one man only, Phil Mickelson.

Lefty showed complete guts, poise and composure, shooting a 66 in the final round of the tournament to finish at 3-under par. With a person who has a track record of falling apart in major championships that are not at Augusta, Michelson has learned to play a great round and tournament. Phil has finally played a complete game of golf and it does not look like he is slowing down at all.

As he came in making four birdies as he closed out the tournament it shows how a true competitor and champion plays. The great players make the best and memorable shots in the highest amounts of pressure. This Open Championship coming from Scotland will be known for Tiger still not putting three rounds together in a Major championship, a countrymen of Lee Westwood falling apart along with Adam Scott, but the show will be forever stolen by Phil finally winning one of the Major championships that has been haunting him his entire championship

As we leave The Open Championship we have some great questions answered and still some questions that are sticking around. There is just one thing that we know is for certain; today is Phil Mickelson’s day and he rose to take one of the two monkeys off his back. Congratulations to you lefty your play the last two weeks has you as the most deserving player to hold up the Claret Jug.

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Rory McIlroy Signs Contract with Nike

Rory McIlroy is joining some of the best athletes in the world at Nike. The world’s number one golfer signed a five-year endorsement contract with the popular manufacturer Monday, reportedly worth $125 million. McIlroy joins elite athletes like Roger Federer, LeBron James, and fellow golfer Tiger Woods at Nike.

McIlroy is poised to become golf’s next poster child. At just 23 years old, the Northern Irishman has triumphed on golf’s biggest stages, winning ten tournaments professionally. His 16-under par performance at the 2011 US Open smashed tournament scoring records and earned McIlroy the first of his two major championships. He also won the 2012 PGA Championship in August by a record eight strokes, and was a member of Europe’s victorious Ryder Cup teams in 2010 and 2012.

And if that wasn’t enough, McIlroy won virtually every major award for golfers in 2012, including PGA and European Tour Player of the Year honors. His four victories netted him more than $8 million in the United States, and McIlroy also won the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai worth another $1.4 million. McIlroy has held the World #1 Ranking since his PGA Championship victory in August.

Nike is already taking advantage of their sponsorship of Rory McIlroy. Starting Wednesday, Nike will air commercials featuring McIlroy and the Number 2 ranked golfer in the world, Tiger Woods. Woods famously signed an endorsement contract with Nike in 1996, when he famously said “Hello World”. The rest of Tiger’s career is history, with 14 major championships and more than $1 billion in earnings.

Much like Federer and Woods, McIlroy has all the tools to become an international superstar. He is young, energetic, popular among fans, and displays incredible athleticism. At only 23, McIlroy has done what only a handful of golfers have ever done. And his career is only getting started: McIlroy announced he would join the PGA Tour as an official member in 2013. With more potential than any golfer in the world, the future looks bright for McIlroy. And if Rory can be as successful as Tiger woods, Nike will succeed as well.