Phil Mickelson wins WGC-Mexico on the first playoff hole
Phil Mickelson wins WGC-Mexico Championship with the most action in a final round you can ever expect. Mickelson and Justin Thomas were tied for the lead at 16-under-268 and on the first playoff hole it was all over for Thomas who recently won at The Honda Classic, his eighth title last Sunday.
This is Mickelson’s third WGC victory and his first victory in almost five years, his last victory came over at the 2013 British Open in Muirfield, 101 tournaments back.
“I can’t put into words how much this means to me,” Mickelson said. “I knew it was going to be soon — I’ve been playing too well for it not to be. But you just never know until it happens.”
“This is a very meaningful win,” Mickelson said after beating Justin Thomas in a playoff. “I can’t really put it into words given the tough times over the last four years, and the struggle to get here, and knowing that I was able to compete at this level but not doing it. To finally break through and to have this validation means a lot to me.”
Mickelson on the verge of moving out of Top 50 in the world now moves to World No.18 with his 43rd win on Sunday, his fourth consecutive Top-10 finish.
Mickelson, posted a round of 5-under 66 with seven birdies and two bogeys, when as many as six players were in the mix for the top spot.
Thomas suddenly pulled off an eagle from 119 yards on the 18th hole, Mickelson played a shot through the smallest of the gaps in the trees to escape with par on the 14th, and followed it with back to back birdies on 15th (two-putt) and a 20-foot birdie on 16th hole.
Thomas was not too happy about his play on Thursday and went 62-64 here on weekends, 62 on Saturday from him now stands as the course record.
The playoff-the sixth in past two months on the PGA Tour – lasted only for a hole on the par-3 17th, where Thomas missed the green and Mickelson held it firm on it. Mickelson’s 18-foot birdie putt rimmed around the edge of the cup and Thomas missed his par-putt from inside 10-feet, paving way for Mickelson’s 43rd victory.
“Man, there’s nothing for me to hang my head about,” Thomas said. “To even have a chance to win this golf tournament after where I was through 18, through 36 holes, I’m very proud of myself. Obviously, I would have loved to drum him out there in that playoff, but I’m just happy for him. … He’s playing some great golf.”
Tyrrell Hatton from England was in the mix to join them in the playoff but missed his chances after missing green to the right, chipped 10 feet and missed the par putt for a 67 to fall off the playoff.
“I can’t believe that I’m not at least in the playoff,” Hatton said, after missing his par putt.
Star of the week, Shubhankar Sharma from India showed the world that his rise in the golfing world is not a fluke but sheer hardwork, despite finishing for a T-9th after a final round of 3-over 74, taking his total to 10-under-274. Sharma is joined by Bubba Watson and Adam Hadwin.
Shubhankar entered the final round with two-shot lead over Sergio Garcia, Phil Mickelson, Tyrrell Hatton, and Rafa Cabrera Bello, and was left behind from the group after posting four straight pars on his starting four holes and a bogey on the fifth, later aided by six straight pars until a birdie on the 12th, first of his two in the round.
Sharma is currently ranked No.66 in the World and will be back to Texas in three weeks for WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play after this week’s Hero Indian Open in New Delhi.
“A little bit disappointed,” Sharma said. “I was leading, and I think I couldn’t finish it off today. But that’s what the game is about. And what I learned today, especially playing with Phil, I’ll cherish it forever.”
Hatton tied for third with Rafa Cabrera Bello, after missing the playoff chances.
The defending champion Dustin Johnson stood T-7th with Sergio Garcia at 12-under-272, with rounds of 2-under-69 and 1-under-70 on Sunday.
The opening round leader Louis Oosthuizen finished for a T-32nd on the board with his final round score of 71 after a 76 on Saturday, taking his total to 2-under-282.
He is joined by fellow South Africans Branden Grace and Dean Burmester, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Kevin Chappell, Bernd Wiesberger, and Patrick Cantlay.