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Mickelson makes media rounds following Open win

Phil Mickelson
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In the wake of his come-from-behind win Sunday at Muirfield, Phil Mickelson took time Friday to discuss with various media outlets some of the keys to his British Open victory while also shedding light on the emotional toll of his runner-up finish at last month's U.S. Open. Here's what the five-time major winner and 'Champion golfer of the year' had to say about his most recent triumph:

NBC's 'Today'

On what this win means: 'This is the biggest accomplishment of my career because this is the one tournament that’s always given me problems, and the one tournament that required shots that I didn’t grow up playing.'

On his notably aggressive style: 'I’m trying to go out and win tournaments, and if I fail, I fail; if I succeed, that’s great. But I’m not afraid of failure, it’s part of life.'

On his close call at Merion: 'My worst, hardest loss of my career was the U.S. Open just a month ago. For days, I didn’t get out of bed; I was tired. It was a trip that we had to Montana that kind of got me out of my funk and I realized that I’m playing great golf, and I can’t let one loss affect the rest of my year.'

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ESPN's 'Mike & Mike'

On his approach entering the final round: 'I felt like even par was going to win the tournament ... my goal on the front nine was to get it to even par.'

On his view of the final few holes: 'When I started the back nine, I knew I was right there in the hunt ... That's all I wanted was a nine-hole shootout, a nine-hole opportunity to win the claret jug.'

On where Sunday's final round stands for him all-time: 'Every shot I hit was perfectly struck. I putted the eyes out of it; I didn't miss any putt that was makeable. I made everything ... It is undoubtedly the best round I have ever played.'

NBC Sports' 'Dan Patrick Show'

On Merion's impact last week at Muirfield: 'Just a month ago was the biggest emotional low, toughest loss of my career in the U.S. Open. I think that adds to why this is my best accomplishment in my career because I had to put that aside and get back to playing golf at the highest level and win the most challenging event of my career.'

On his decision to take driver out of the bag: 'I drove the ball very well on that golf course and gave myself a chance to play the course aggressively, and I really think a lot of it was because of the conservative approach off the tee and not having that temptation to stand up and just hit a bomb downwind.'

On playing the final hole: 'When I played the 18th hole, I knew if I made par I was going to win the British Open. I knew that was a done deal. In fact, I thought if I bogeyed it I still might, but I knew 2 under would win it for sure, and when I made the (birdie) putt I knew it was over.'

Golf Channel's 'Golf Central'

On where his latest stands among his career: 'To be able to hold the claret jug, to me, is the greatest accomplishment I could have ever achieved in the game of golf.'

On carrying the momentum to the PGA Championship: 'I've been playing some of the best golf of my career not just the week of the British Open, but the week before and the months leading up to it. If I can continue that play, the goal is just to get into contention and see if I can give myself a chance on the weekend at the PGA to add to it.'

On his preparation plans for Oak Hill: 'I'll go to Oak Hill early ... Monday and probably Tuesday or Wednesday before the Akron tournament so that I know what I want to do, how I can attack Oak Hill and what my club setup is going to be, how I can optimize the clubs in my bag to give me the best chance to shoot low scores.'