Phil Mickelson
Mickelson claimed is first Open championship by three shots.

Open champion Phil Mickelson called on the feeling of disappointment after the US Open in June to prevail by three shots following an exhilarating final round at Muirfield.

Despite starting the day five shots behind overnight leader Lee Westwood, Mickelson hauled himself to the front with four birdies in the closing six holes to claim his fifth major title following a fourth round 66 to finish three under par, three shots clear of Sweden's Henrik Stenson

Masters champion Adam Scott and Englishman Ian Poulter were four shots further back while Westwood, in search of his first major, faltered at the turn to also finish +1 for the tournament.

After achieving a sixth second place finish at the US Open at Merion in June, Mickelson sought redemption at Muirfield, taking a huge step towards earning a career grand slam after claiming the third of the four major titles.

"This is a such an accomplishment for me because I never thought I could develop the game and the shots needed and required to play links golf," Mickelson told BBC Sport.

"We had such firm, fast conditions here - the epitome of links golf - and to play the best round arguably of my career today and to putt better than I've ever putted to shoot the round of my life here just feels amazing to win that claret jug."

The American finished behind England's Justin Rose at the US Open but wasn't to be denied as he came in 35 after birdies at 13 and 14 before an important save at 15 set up successive birdies at both 17 and 18 as his rivals faded.

Scott, champion at Augusta earlier this year and Open runner-up in 2012, led after 12 but four consecutive dropped shots scuppered his chances as Mickelson pulled away with gradual ease.

"It's such a difficult six-hole finish I was just trying to hit good shots onto the green and give myself putts at it and I just putted so good," the 43 year old added.

"I hit a really solid five-iron which gave me a great look on 13 and when I made that I got back to level par for the championship and I thought that would be a score that would have a great opportunity to win. I was just trying to make some pars and on 14 I had some good bounces and I ended up 20 feet. I made some great putts coming in and it just feels amazing.

"I felt like two-under was more than enough. It is so difficult coming down the stretch that pars are good scores. To have to chase someone down and make birdies I thought would be extremely difficult. I was doing everything I could to make par.

"The range of emotions I feel are as far apart as possible after such a difficult loss at the US Open.

"To win the tournament here that I wasn't sure that I would never win, to win this feels amazing and the range of emotions feels amazing.

"You have to accept losses and you have to use it as motivation instead of letting it defeat you and motivation to come back strong and some of these last few week and last few months I've played some of the best golf of my career."