(Eds: With AP Photos.) By TIM DAHLBERG AP Sports Columnist The celebration started when Phil Mickelson rolled in his final birdie putt, with hands raised high in the air and a tearful caddie just waiting to be hugged. It quickly turned into a victory lap, even as the players he'd already beaten struggled to finish what was left of their disappointing day.
There were, of course, hugs for his picture perfect wife and his equally charming children - and lots of them. Congratulations to accept from most anyone near the 18th green, and plenty of smiles for the thousands gathered in the grandstands.
Then, with even more time to kill before he was officially declared champion of the one tournament he feared he would never win, Mickelson did what only Mickelson would do - he began signing autographs.
Hold onto them because they might be worth something someday. The guy with the goofy grin who once seemed destined never to win a major now seems intent on playing his way into golfing lore....