Saturday, 21 July, 2018


Long wait for a win, but Mickelson's not done

Long wait for a win, but Mickelson's not done Long wait for a win, but Mickelson's not done
Noah Ferguson | 07 March, 2018, 21:58

On the European Tour, George Coetzee celebrated his first win in nearly three years as he landed a second Tshwane Open crown, and we look ahead to another big week of golf as Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy return to action at the Valspar Championship.

There was more frustration than self-doubt.

"I was very proud with the way I played and to finish top-five in the World Golf Championships is always the best". "And this isn't either".

Phil Mickelson finally looked like the Lefty of old Sunday in the Mexico Championship, especially when a final round of pressure, possibilities and dramatic shots that kept the crowd buzzing finally ended at Chapultepec Golf Club.

Mickelson was the first player who appeared to seize control with a birdie on No. 10 to take the lead, and he was poised to pull away with a reachable par 5 at No. 11 and a drivable par 4 at No. 12.

Going for the green in light rough with the ball below his feet, he hooked it deep into the bushes right of the green, and played his next one when he could barely see the golf ball. Then came another wild drive that bounced along the cart path, forcing him to scramble for par. Eleven shots behind going into the weekend and suddenly tied for the lead, Thomas holed out from 119 yards on the final hole for eagle to cap off a 62-64 weekend as he went for his second straight victory. "I probably shouldn't say that, he's 26 years younger than me!", said Mickelson. It just feels like there's a TV in front of me and I'm actually watching it through a TV.

And that's what he did. Shubhankar, with three birdies against one bogey on the front nine, was four shots clear at one stage.

But on the final hole, Hatton missed the green to the right, chipped 10 feet by and missed the par putt for a 67 to fall out of a playoff. Thomas hit his tee shot slightly past the green, chunking his chip shot and missing a long par putt. I was telling to Baaz, who's on my bag there, watching all of these guys on the range, it just seems like there's a TV in front of me and I'm watching them through the TV.

"This is a very meaningful win", Mickelson said after beating Justin Thomas in a playoff.

World number one and defending champion Dustin Johnson headed a group on 203 that also included 2017 US PGA Tour rookie of the year Xander Schauffele, Pat Perez and Brian Harman.

But the five-time major champion and 43-time victor on the PGA Tour was glad to return to winning ways, saying it would free him up. The first was in 1991 - before Thomas, Spieth and Rahm were even born - when he was an amateur. Arjun Atwal, in 2010, carried a 3- shot lead into the final round of the Wyndham Championships, which he won by one shot, and more recently Anirban Lahiri carried a four-shot lead into the final round of the 2016 CIMB Classic, but dropped to Tiedthird at the end.

"Oh, I will", Mickelson said about reaching 50 titles.

Mickelson made good on his pledge earlier this year that more victories were in store for him. With a win on Sunday he would become the youngest player to win a WGC event, eclipsing the mark of Patrick Reed who won the 2014 WGC Mexico Championship at 23 years old.

Left unsaid is the U.S. Open, the only major keeping him from the career Grand Slam. "It was my first time in Mexico, my first WGC and I'm really happy".

He got his validation in Mexico City.

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