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PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin tore the ACL in his right knee during practice Saturday and could miss the season.

Maclin went down at the end of a non-contact drill and appeared to be in pain while he was on the ground for several minutes. He was helped onto the cart and needed assistance getting off it and going into the team's practice facility.

"Appreciate all the love and support twitter fam....sad day but I have setbacks my entire life. Minor setback for a MAJOR comeback! #birdgang," he wrote on Twitter.

Philadelphia is in its second full practice under new coach Chip Kelly. The first practice with pads is Sunday.

The Eagles signed wide receiver David Ball to the 90-man roster. The 29-year-old Ball played for Kelly at New Hampshire, and broke Jerry Rice's Division I-AA record for touchdown receptions. Ball spent time in training camp with Chicago and the New York Jets in 2007-08.

Maclin is headed into his fifth season with the Eagles. He led the team with 69 catches for 857 yards and seven touchdowns last season, and the former first-round pick is in the final year of his rookie contract.

Two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver DeSean Jackson is Philadelphia's other starter. The team has veterans Jason Avant and Riley Cooper, along with several younger wideouts in camp.

Maclin has averaged 64 catches, 863 yards and six TDs in his first four seasons. His best year was in 2011 when he had 70 receptions for 964 yards and 10 TDs.

Saturday, 27 July 2013 21:43
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CHICAGO (AP) - The U.S. soccer team will be missing a key figure for the Gold Cup final against Panama on Sunday: their coach.

Jurgen Klinsmann was suspended for one game Friday by CONCACAF's disciplinary committee, the result of his ejection in the 87th minute of a 3-1 victory over Honduras in the semifinals Wednesday. FIFA rules call for anyone ejected from a match to be suspended for the following game, the disciplinary committee decided.

"I don't think it changes too much," U.S. captain DaMarcus Beasley said Friday. "It's always good to have him on the bench, but he'll give his wisdom before the game ... make sure we get off on the right foot. But it's not going to be the same not seeing his face on the sideline, giving us instructions when we need it and being the enthusiastic person that he is on the bench. Especially, when we score or he needs to tell us something if we need to change something."

Klinsmann was irate Wednesday after the referee failed to issue cards on a series of hard fouls against the Americans. He could be seen yelling and gesturing angrily in the direction of the referee, and was told to leave the field after he slammed a ball into the ground.

Klinsmann later apologized, saying he acted out of frustration.

"I was talking to the ref as well. There weren't any cards," Beasley said. "I got hit three, four times in somewhat the same sequence, and they didn't call anything but a foul. So I could understand his frustration. I was frustrated."

The Americans are seeking their fifth Gold Cup title. They also are looking to extend their record 10-game winning streak in all matches.

"This is what he lives and dies for," Eddie Johnson said. "This is the opportunity that American soccer has been wanting, to have a coach with such experience, who's played at the highest level and played on big teams and managed big players, to be in this position to help us get to where we're trying to go in American soccer."

Friday, 26 July 2013 22:09
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ATLANTA (AP) - Mike Minor allowed only one run to give Atlanta's depleted rotation a lift, Jason Heyward homered, and the Braves beat Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals 4-1 in a matchup of division leaders on Friday night.

Minor (10-5) gave up four hits with no walks in seven innings. His sharp performance came two days after Tim Hudson was lost for the season with a broken right ankle.

The Atlanta rotation also is without left-hander Paul Maholm, who isn't on the disabled list but is expected to miss at least one start because of a bruised left wrist.

Wainwright (13-6), the NL leader in wins, took his first loss since a 2-1 decision to Texas on June 23.

Yadier Molina gave St. Louis a 1-0 lead with his eighth homer in the second inning. The Braves answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning.

Wainwright allowed four runs, three earned, on seven hits and one walk in seven innings.

Minor, who became the first Braves pitcher to reach 10 wins, lowered his ERA to 2.89. His strong start was especially important after Hudson's season ended when he was injured on Wednesday night against the Mets.

The Braves took a 2-1 lead with four hits off Wainwright in the second. Brian McCann doubled, moved to third on Dan Uggla's single and scored on Chris Johnson's single to left field. Minor added a single with two outs to drive in Uggla.

Heyward pushed the lead to 3-1 with his eighth homer, a one-out shot to left field, in the fifth.

With one out in the seventh and Johnson on first base following his second hit, Joey Terdoslavich pinch-hit for Minor and hit a grounder to shortstop Pete Kozma, who threw wild toward second base. Johnson scored on the error.

Jordan Walden pitched a perfect eighth inning before Craig Kimbrel recorded the final three outs for his 29th save.

Heyward, sprinting toward the infield from right field, made a diving catch to take a hit away from David Freese in the fifth inning. Heyward rolled and came up holding the ball as Minor slapped his glove in approval on the mound.

NOTES: Of Minor's 103 pitches, 70 were strikes. ... Attendance was 50,124, a sellout. ... Hudson had surgery to repair his broken right ankle. His wife, Kim, said on her Twitter account the procedure went well. ... RHP Brandon Beachy, recovering from right elbow ligament-replacement surgery in June 2012, will come off the DL to take Hudson's rotation spot Monday night against Colorado. ... Cardinals LHP John Gast had season-ending surgery on his left shoulder. He could return in eight to 12 months. Gast was 2-0 with a 5.11 ERA in three starts before he was placed on the disabled list on May 26 with a left shoulder strain. ... Atlanta's Julio Teheran will face Joe Kelly in a matchup of right-handers on Saturday. Kelly will make only his fourth start of the season.

Friday, 26 July 2013 22:06
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ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Lance Lynn allowed one run over seven innings and the St. Louis Cardinals scored three times in the third in a 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday.

Matt Carpenter, Jon Jay and Matt Adams drove in runs for the Cardinals, who have won seven of nine.

Philadelphia has lost five in a row, tying a season high. The Phillies also dropped five straight from June 7-12.

St. Louis has the most wins in the majors at 62 and is a season-high 25 games over .500.

Lynn (12-5) had dropped four of his previous five decisions and was 3-4 with a 6.32 ERA in his past eight starts.

He returned to his early season form on Thursday.

Lynn, who was 8-1 with a 2.76 ERA in his first 12 starts, gave up just five hits against the slumping Phillies, who have scored just nine runs during the five-game skid. He struck out six and walked four.

Lynn, whose last win came on July 7, retired eight batters in a row from the fourth through seventh innings. He set the side down in order in the fifth and sixth on a combined 23 pitches.

Closer Edward Mujica picked up his 30th save in 32 opportunities. He struck out two and is tied with Pittsburgh's Jason Grilli for the most saves in the NL. Trevor Rosenthal pitched a scoreless eighth for the Cardinals.

St. Louis scored three times on four hits off Philadelphia starter Kyle Kendrick (9-7) in the third.

Carpenter drove in Pete Kozma with a one-out single. Jay followed with an RBI triple and Adams added a run-scoring single.

Erik Kratz drove in the Phillies' run with a single in the fourth.

Philadelphia outfielder Steve Susdorf grounded into a double play in the seventh in his major league debut. He was recalled earlier in the day to replace Domonic Brown, who was placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list.

Notes: St. Louis OF Matt Holliday is expected to come off the disabled list on Saturday. Holliday's wife Leslee gave birth to a son, Reid Joshua, on Wednesday night. Holliday was placed on the 15-day disabled list on July 12 with a right hamstring strain. ... The Cardinals open an 11-game road trip on Friday in Atlanta. Adam Wainwright (13-5, 2.44) will face Mike Minor (9-5, 2.88) in the opener of a three-game series. Philadelphia begins a three-game series in Detroit on Friday. Cole Hamels (4-12, 4.16) takes on Doug Fister (8-5, 3.90) in the series opener.

Thursday, 25 July 2013 23:28
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jake Westbrook pitched seven solid innings and contributed offensively with his second career steal, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to an 11-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night.

Matt Adams had two hits and three RBIs and Shane Robinson's three-run triple in the fifth was his third hit of the game for the Cardinals, who are 4-1 since the All-Star break and lead the majors with a 61-37 record. They scored in four straight innings, totaling nine runs on 12 of their 16 hits from the second through fifth.

Allen Craig had two hits and a walk to give him 16 hits during a nine-game hitting streak. He's second in the league in hitting at .337 behind teammate Yadier Molina, who had three hits and an RBI and is batting .339.

John Mayberry had two hits and an RBI for the Phillies, who were without top run producer Domonic Brown and have lost four in a row. Brown is being evaluated for concussion-like symptoms and the team expects to know Thursday whether he'll be placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list. Right fielder Delmon Young threw out a runner at the plate in the second to thwart a sacrifice fly bid.

Westbrook (7-4) had his first career three-hit game and helped knock out John Lannan (2-4) when he drew a two-out walk in the fourth, stole second and scored on Carpenter's single for a 4-0 lead.

Westbrook is 2 for 2 in his career on steals, getting his first last season. He has scored four runs this year, matching his total from the last two seasons combined.

After retiring the side in order in the first, Lannan surrendered eight hits and two walks the next three innings. The biggest hit was Adams' two-run single on an 0-2 count with the bases loaded in the second.

Lannan worked eight innings and allowed a run each of his two previous starts. He was pitching on 10 days' rest.

The Phillies were held to one hit before bunching three singles the first four at-bats of the fifth, with Carlos Ruiz getting the RBI, but pinch hitter John McDonald grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Robinson's bases-clearing triple capped a five-run fifth against rookie J.C. Ramirez that broke the game open. Robinson's sinking liner bounced in front of and then over diving center fielder Mayberry and the Cardinals also had three doubles in the inning with Adams and David Freese getting RBIs.

Brock Peterson got his first career hit on an RBI single in two-run eighth for St. Louis.

NOTES: Lance Lynn (11-5, 4.13) has lost consecutive starts while giving up 10 runs on 17 hits in 9 1-3 innings entering the finale against Kyle Kendrick (9-6, 3.94). Kendrick is 5-1 with a 2.72 career ERA against St. Louis. ... The Cardinals scored on a pair of softly-hit balls in the third, Carpenter's leadoff infield hit and Molina's two-out bloop RBI single. ... A sellout crowd of 44,317 was the 18th sellout and put the Cardinals over 2 million attendance for the 18th straight season. ... Tony Cruz had an infield hit in the eighth in his first appearance since the break for St. Louis.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013 23:44
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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - By even the very high standards of coach Jurgen Klinsmann, Landon Donovan is regaining top form after taking a break from the national team.

Donovan scored two goals and set up another on Wednesday night, helping the United States beat Honduras 3-1 to advance to the CONCACAF Gold Cup final.

Klinsmann said the performance was "wonderful to watch."

"I have told him in our conversations that 'I measure you. Your benchmark is the best Landon Donovan ever,'" Klinsmann said. "I'm not taking anything less than that. And he is trying to catch up with that. Give him more games. Give him time."

The Americans will play Panama, a 2-1 winner over Mexico in the second semifinal, on Sunday in Chicago. The U.S. has won a team-record 10 straight games.

While Klinsmann has declined to confirm that Donovan will be rejoining the World Cup qualifying team later this year, the top goal scorer in U.S. history is leaving little doubt that he belongs.

Donovan has five goals in the tournament, tying him with teammate Chris Wondolowski for most in the Gold Cup. Donovan has set up seven goals, including four in the last two games.

Entering the game, he was the only U.S. player to play every minute of the tournament. He finally was subbed out in the 72nd minute, having earned a rest.

"It's the most relaxed I've felt," Donovan said. "I feel good, and I'm really enjoying it."

The U.S. struck first when Donovan found Eddie Johnson running through the middle of the Honduran defense. Johnson took a dribble and powered a shot past goalkeeper Donis Escober, giving the U.S. a lead 11 minutes into the game.

In the 27th minute, Johnson started another scoring sequence with a pass to midfielder Alejandro Bedoya. Donovan received Bedoya's short chip off his chest in the middle of the goal box and poked a shot past Escober.

"The first 30 minutes was brilliant football. Brilliant, high pressure, high tempo," Klinsmann said. "We wanted to move the football around and create chances, and that's what we did."

Nery Medina of Honduras made it a one-goal game in the 52nd minute, heading in a cross from Marvin Chavez. The Americans countered a minute later when Bedoya ran down a long ball from Clarence Goodson and crossed it to Donovan, who scored from a few yards out.

"In the end, the U.S. was able to beat us in every aspect of the game," Honduras coach Luis Fernando Suarez said.

After the game, it was uncertain whether Klinsmann would be suspended for the final after being ejected in the 87th minute for slamming a ball into the ground. A CONCACAF official said the referee would file a report with CONCACAF's disciplinary committee, which will announce a decision in the next day or two.

Klinsmann said he was reacting to a number of hard fouls over the game's final 30 minutes.

"It was a reaction out of frustration," he said. "It was not meant against the referee, against anybody. It was just frustration. I apologize for that."

Wednesday, 24 July 2013 23:29
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Shelby Miller threw six shutout innings and Allen Craig drove in a pair of runs to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday night.

Miller (10-6) broke out of a three-start slump with one of his finest efforts of the season. He had given up 10 earned runs in 12 2-3 innings over his previous three starts. He was working on 12 days rest and gave up three hits while striking out six and walking one. He is the third St. Louis starter to reach double-digits in wins joining Adam Wainwright (13-5) and Lance Lynn (11-5).

The Cardinals have won four of five and 10 of 13. Philadelphia lost its third straight game.

Edward Mujica picked up his 29th save in 31 opportunities. Randy Choate, Seth Maness and Trevor Rosenthal followed Miller to mound.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013 23:09
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Eric Stults threw a career-high 124 pitches, finessing his way through a tough lineup after a pregame strategy session emphasized avoiding big innings.

One bad inning was enough to beat the San Diego Padres lefty.

The St. Louis Cardinals did all of their scoring in the third to back Adam Wainwright's NL-leading 13th win in a 3-2 victory on Sunday that ended with Allen Craig's leaping catch at the wall on pinch-hitter Jedd Gyorko's bid for the go-ahead hit.

"When they get guys on base, they get up there and they want to swing early," Stults said. "That third inning got away a little bit."

Stults (8-8) fell short in a bid to win three straight starts for the first time in his career. He allowed three runs and eight hits in six innings, stranding two runners in the second and fifth.

"He ran into some longer innings but he did his thing. He kept us in the game," Padres manager Bud Black said. "Gave up the three-spot and five zeros against a very good offensive club. We just fell short."

The first four Cardinals reached in the third inning that was capped by David Freese's two-run double. Center fielder Alexi Amarista missed catching the drive on a diving attempt, and the ball went to the wall, but Freese was thrown out at third on strong relays from right fielder Will Venable and Cabrera.

The Cardinals had just one more runner in scoring position the rest of the way.

Stults said Freese jumped on a first-pitch changeup that he left up in the zone.

"I was trying to get ahead of him," Stults said. "If I throw that ball down, it's probably a ground ball."

Yonder Alonso singled three times with an RBI for the Padres. They had runners at second and third in the ninth after pinch hitter Jesus Guzman's ground-rule double. Black thought Amarista would have scored from first if the ball hadn't bounced into the stands.

"I was hoping that maybe a fan reached out and touched it but I guess it hopped in the stands," Black said. "A bad break."

Then Gyorko's drive came up just short.

"Right off the bat, I thought positive thoughts," Black said. "It looked as though it had a chance but the more Craig was backing up, my thoughts went the other way."

Craig has 12 hits and six RBIs during a seven-game hitting streak for the Cardinals, who took two of three in both series against the Padres this season. The St. Louis defense turned three double plays behind Wainwright (13-5), who allowed two runs. He struck out seven and walked two.

Craig's catch preserved Edward Mujica's 28th save in 30 chances. The Cardinals have won nine of 12 and have the majors' best record. The Padres have lost 19 of 24.

Wainwright matched his season high for walks after entering with a NL-low 15 in 146 2-3 innings, but is 3-1 in his two-walk games. He had only one perfect inning but got key outs with breaking balls and struck out Everth Cabrera with a man on third to end the seventh.

He entered with a 1.34 career ERA against the Padres.

Matt Carpenter opened the third with a double off the base of the wall in right-center for his second straight hit. He leads the majors with 39 multi-hit games.

Cabrera led off the game with an opposite-field double and scored on Alonso's two-out hit. The Padres cut the deficit to a run in the sixth on a double by Carlos Quentin, another Alonso hit and a double-play ball.

Notes: Thousands lined up outside Busch Stadium several hours before game time for Stan Musial replica statues. The near sellout of 44,033 was the Cardinals' 14th straight crowd of at least 43,000. ... Carpenter leads the NL with 31 doubles. ... St. Louis OF Carlos Beltran got a day off due to general soreness, although he told manager Mike Matheny he could play. ... The Cardinals have a day off before rookie Shelby Miller (9-6, 2.92) makes his first start after a 12-day break against the Phillies on Tuesday. Andrew Cashner (5-5, 3.81) pitches for San Diego in the opener of a four-game set in Milwaukee. ... Padres outfielders made a pair of outstanding plays. Venable's sliding catch left a long skid mark in foul territory in the fourth, and LF Quentin snatched Craig's liner at shoe-top level to end the seventh. ... Stults threw a season-high 124 pitches.

Sunday, 21 July 2013 19:24
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BALTIMORE (AP) - The passes were sharp, the defense sound and the goals plentiful.

The United States couldn't have played much better, and the timing could not have been more perfect.

Clarence Goodson and Joe Corona scored during an eight-minute span of the first half, and the U.S. cruised past El Salvador 5-1 Sunday to advance to the semifinals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Eddie Johnson, Landon Donovan and Mix Diskerud added second-half goals for the Americans, who will next play in Dallas on Wednesday against the winner of the Honduras-Costa Rica match.

Honduras and Costa Rica met Sunday night as part of a doubleheader before a sellout crowd at the home stadium of the Baltimore Ravens.

Assists aren't an official statistic in the Gold Cup, but Donovan set up three scores in a dazzling performance.

"I think Landon proved again today how valuable he is and now he can make a difference," coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. "This game was important for coaches to see who is a difference maker. Overall, we see our team clicking more and playing better and better."

To say the least.

The U.S. has won nine straight full internationals - a record for the country's national team. The Americans have also prevailed in seven of their last eight Gold Cup matches, the exception being a 4-2 loss to Mexico in 2011 final.

"We are trying to catch up with the big teams in the world," Klinsmann said. "It's all about speed. I'm not talking about physical speed. I'm talking about mental speed, passing speed with every player going both ways. That's what we're working to. This is a process and I think that process is coming along."

Rodolfo Zelaya scored for El Salvador, 1-19-7 overall against the U.S.

"Collectively, they're a very good team," El Salvador coach Agustin Castillo said through a translator. "They almost play by memory. They can find the spaces. It almost seems like every time they pass the ball into a space it's going to nobody, then somebody appears and actually meets the ball. Good work, good movement."

And good enough to claim a fifth Gold Cup.

"They're going through a very good time," Castillo said. "They're the best team I've seen in this tournament. They are a candidate to win it all."

Goodson put the U.S. ahead in the 21st minute by converting a crossing pass from Donovan, who gained possession near the end line within 15 feet of the net. It was Goodson's fifth career goal, the second in the Gold Cup.

Minutes later, U.S. goalkeeper Nick Rimando kicked aside a straight-on shot by Lester Blanco Pineda and batted away the subsequent rebound at the right corner of the net.

In the 29th minute, Corona gained possession at the top of the penalty area and used his right foot to line a shot into the left corner of the net for a 2-0 lead.

That drained much of the enthusiasm from the strong contingent of blue-and-white clad El Salvador fans.

The U.S. continued to dominate, and it took several strong saves by Dagoberto Portillo to keep El Salvador within striking distance.

Momentum shifted in the 39th minute, when El Salvador's Rodolfo Zelaya was fouled by DaMarcus Beasley and converted the penalty kick to make it 2-1.

It was perhaps the lone flaw in an otherwise lopsided match.

"The difference today was scoring early goals," Donovan said. "Even though they got a questionable goal back, we still kept going and our effort was really good. Obviously, to score five goals is a bonus."

Johnson added an insurance goal with a header off a pass from Donovan in the 60th minute. The score came 14 seconds after Johnson entered as a substitute.

Donovan converted a breakaway in the 78th minute. He is only player in history to score in six Gold Cup tournaments.

Six minutes later, as a sudden rain shower began to pick up intensity, Diskerud found the back of the net.

Five goals, five scorers. That's balance.

"It seems like we've been playing with each other for a while," Jose Torres said. "We move the ball well, we know each other well - where we're going to move. I think we're looking good right now."

Sunday, 21 July 2013 19:22
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GULLANE, Scotland (AP) - One of the greatest final rounds in a major. Two of the best shots he ever struck with a 3-wood. The third leg of the Grand Slam.

Phil Mickelson never imagined any of this happening at the British Open.

No wonder he never took his hand off the base of that silver claret jug as he talked about the best Sunday he ever had at a major. Five shots out of the lead, Mickelson blew past Tiger Woods, caught up to Lee Westwood and Masters champion Adam Scott, and won golf's oldest championship with the lowest final round in his 80 majors.

With four birdies over the last six holes, Mickelson closed with a 5-under 66 for a three-shot win over Henrik Stenson.

No longer is he mystified by links golf, and he has his name etched in that jug to prove it.

"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," Mickelson said. "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."

Introduced as the "champion golfer of the year," he held the oldest trophy in golf over his head to show it off to one side of the massive grandstand lining the 18th green at Muirfield, and then the other. An hour earlier, they gave the 43-year-old Mickelson the loudest ovation of the week as he walked up the final fairway.

He drained an 8-foot birdie putt and thrust his arms in the air, hugged caddie Jim "Bones" Mackay and whispered to him, "I did it." After signing for the lowest final round ever at Muirfield, Mickelson huddled with his wife and three children - back from a quick holiday to Spain - for a long embrace and waited for the others to finish.

Westwood, who started the day with a two-shot lead, fell behind for the first time all day with a bogey on the par-3 13th hole and never recovered, closing with a 75.

Scott took the outright lead with a 4-foot birdie on the 11th, and then closed as sloppily as he did last year when he threw away the Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes. He made four straight bogeys starting at the 13th, and a final bogey on the 18th gave him a 72. At least he has a green jacket from the Master to console him.

Woods, in his best position to win a major since the crisis in his personal life, stumbled badly on his way to a 74 and was never a serious challenger.

"We know that he goes for broke, and if that's how he was feeling and pulling it off, he's got the ability to do that," Scott said about Mickelson. "And he's gone and won an Open easily. So every credit to him."

At the end of a rough-and-tumble week along the Firth of Forth, Mickelson was the only player under par at 3-under 283. In his four other majors - three Masters and one PGA Championship - he had never started the final round more than one shot behind.

"I don't care either way how I got this trophy - I got it," Mickelson said. "And it just so happened to be with one of the best rounds of my career, which is really the way I've played my entire career. I've always tried to go out and get it. I don't want anybody to hand it to me. I want to go out and get it. And today, I did."

Westwood, whose only other 54-hole lead in a major ended with Mickelson winning the Masters, paid tribute to Lefty for what will go down as one of the great closing rounds in a major.

"When you birdie four of the last six of a round any day, that's good going," Westwood said. "With a decent breeze blowing and some tough flags out there, it's obviously a pretty good experience. When you do it in a major championship, it's an even better experience."

But this major? Phil Mickelson?

He had only contended twice in two decades at golf's oldest championship. One week after he won the Scottish Open in a playoff on the links-styled course of Castle Stuart, Mickelson was simply magical on the back nine of a brown, brittle Muirfield course that hasn't played this tough since 1966.

Tied for the lead, Mickelson smashed a 3-wood onto the green at the par-5 17th to about 25 feet for a two-putt birdie, and finished in style with a 10-foot birdie putt on the 18th to match the lowest score of this championship.

"Those two 3-woods were the two best shots of the week, to get it on that green," Mickelson said. "As I was walking up to the green, that was when I realized that this is very much my championship in my control. And I was getting a little emotional. I had to kind of take a second to slow down my walk and try to regain composure."

Mickelson figured a par on the 18th would be tough for anyone to catch him. When the ball dropped in the center of the cup, he raised both arms in the air to celebrate his fifth career major, tying him with the likes of Seve Ballesteros and Byron Nelson.

"Best round I've ever seen him play," said his caddie, Jim "Bones" Mackay.

His final surge was right about the time Westwood and Scott began to fold.

Scott, trying to join an exclusive list of players who have won a green jacket and a claret jug in the same year, made a remarkable recovery from the dunes right of the par-3 13th hole, only to miss the 7-foot par putt. He took three putts for bogeys on the next two holes - from long range on the 14th, and from 20 feet on the 15th - and found a bunker on the next.

Westwood started to lose his grip on the jug with bogeys on the seventh and eighth, and failing to birdie the downwind, par-5 ninth. Presented with birdie chances early on the back nine, his putting stroke began to look tentative.

Westwood and Scott tied for third with Ian Poulter, who played a four-hole stretch in 5-under around the turn and closed with a 67. At 1-over 285, he canceled a flight home in case of a playoff. Moments later, with Mickelson pulling away, the outcome was clear.

Jack Nicklaus said on Twitter, "Phil's round was incredible. After his bad break on 16 and to then get up and down showed a lot of guts. And the two great shots at 17 ended the tournament."

Making this even sweeter for Mickelson is that just one month ago he lost out on yet another chance to win the U.S. Open, the missing link of a career Grand Slam. Mickelson twice made bogey with wedge in his hand on the back nine at Merion and had his record sixth runner-up finish.

Woods, Nicklaus, Gary Player, Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen are the only players to win all four professional majors. Mickelson figured it would be the British Open that would hold him back. Now he has the jug, and he never took his hand off it during his press conference.

"I think that if I'm able to win the U.S. Open and complete the career Grand Slam, I think that that's the sign of the complete, great player," Mickelson said. "And I'm a leg away. And it's been a tough leg for me."

For now, Mickelson takes his place among an elite list of winners at Muirfield, which is considered the fairest of the links on the British Open rotation. All but two of the Open champions at Muirfield are in the World Hall of Fame. Mickelson is the only winner who already has been inducted.

It was the 43rd win of his PGA Tour career. The guy who once couldn't win the big one now has five majors in the last nine years. This one returns him to No. 2 in the world ranking for the first time in nearly three years.

Woods, meanwhile, now has gone 17 majors without winning, and that pursuit of Nicklaus and his benchmark of 18 majors - Woods is stuck on 14 - doesn't look any closer. He three-putted twice in four holes at the start of the round and looked like just another contender on this Sunday.

He attributed his poor day to not getting the right pace on the greens, which he said were progressively slower.

"I felt like I was really playing well today, actually the whole week, " said Woods, who has not broken 70 in the final round of his last seven majors. "I really hit so many good shots and really had control of my ball this week. As I said, it was just trying to get the speed, and I just didn't get it."

 
Sunday, 21 July 2013 19:19
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Wainwright injures knee, Cardinals blank Mets 3-0

Wainwright injures knee, Cardinals blank Mets 3-0

  NEW YORK (AP) -- Adam Wainwright threw seven neat innings before leaving with a knee injury, and Jon Jay hit a two-run single that sent the St. Louis Cardinals to a 3...

Albert Pujols hits 500th HR of major league career

Albert Pujols hits 500th HR of major league career

  WASHINGTON (AP) -- Albert Pujols reached 500 homers in a hurry.   The Los Angeles Angels' first baseman hit a pair of shots off Washington Nationals righ...

Lyons solid in 1st start, Cards blanked by Mets

Lyons solid in 1st start, Cards blanked by Mets

  NEW YORK (AP) -- Tyler Lyons stepped into the St. Louis rotation and looked right at home. Too bad for him, the Cardinals couldn't get anyone home to help him. &n...

Blackhawks blank Blues 2-0 in Game 3

Blackhawks blank Blues 2-0 in Game 3

CHICAGO (AP) -- Corey Crawford made 34 saves in his third career postseason shutout, and the Chicago Blackhawks got back into their playoff series with the St. Louis Blues with ...

Cards defense, bullpen falter in 3-2 loss to Nats

Cards defense, bullpen falter in 3-2 loss to Nats

  WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Cardinals managed to score twice against Stephen Strasburg while starter Shelby Miller kept the Nationals offense quiet. Nine outs away from ta...

Molina's error hurts Cardinals in 3-1 loss to Nats

  WASHINGTON (AP) -- There's a simple reason St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha felt comfortable putting a changeup in the ground with the bases loaded in the se...

Blues beat Blackhawks 4-3 in 3 OTs

Blues beat Blackhawks 4-3 in 3 OTs

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Alexander Steen scored at 26 seconds of the third overtime to give the St. Louis Blues a 4-3 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks...

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