Mar 5th, 2018
Boom. Phil Mickelson bounces back in Mexico
First win in five years
Words: Florida Dayton
Five years. Can you believe it? Five years, but now Lefty (our tip for this year's US Open) is back in the winner's circle after beating Justin Thomas in a playoff to win the WGC-Mexico Championship.
The last time Phil won was the 2013 Open at Muirfield. He came oh-so-close in that epic final day at Troon in 2016 but lost out to Henrik Stenson. It looked like he would miss out again when Justin Thomas chipped in for eagle at the last for a seven-under 64, but Phil birdied the 15th and 16th to post 66 for a 16-under total and force the playoff.
Mickelson (at 47 the oldest player to win a WGC), parred the first extra hole to win his 46th title and end a run of 101 tournaments without a win: "I can't put into words how much this means to me given the tough times over the last four years," he said. "The struggle to get back here, knowing that I was able to compete at this level but not doing it, and the frustration that that led to. To finally break through and to have this validation means a lot to me..
"For it to happen here in Mexico City against the best players in the world is such an encouraging and validating feeling. This is hopefully going to propel me on to better stuff."
Tyrell Hatton missed out on the play-off after bogeying the 18th. Hatton was in a three-way tie with Mickelson and Thomas but he signed for a 67 after his dropped shot and finished joint third with Spain's Rafa Cabrera Bello, who had birdied the same hole in his closing 67.
He told the European Tour website: "You don't get many opportunities to win WGC events and I feel like I've thrown a really good opportunity away. So I'm pretty upset, definitely angry."