x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Mickelson overcomes illness to win

Phil Mickelson won the WGC-CA Championship by a shot from fellow American Nick Watney, battling dehydration as well as nerves to triumph at Doral.

Phil Mickelson was under the weather in Doral but he battled through dehydration to secure his second win of the year.
Phil Mickelson was under the weather in Doral but he battled through dehydration to secure his second win of the year.

MIAMI // Phil Mickelson won the WGC-CA Championship by a shot from fellow American Nick Watney, battling dehydration as well as nerves to triumph at Doral. In a head-to-head duel between the two overnight leaders, Watney paid the price for bogeys on 11 and 12 which followed his eagle on the par-five tenth. Mickelson's three-under round of 69 allowed him to finish the tournament on 19-under overall and claim his second tour win of the year and his first at a World Golf Championship event.

The left-hander had to receive a drip at a clinic after Saturday's third round due to dehydration and Mickelson said he had been far from well. "I haven't eaten much in three days, so I really wasn't able to appreciated what others were doing but Nick played some great shots and I was very relieved to come out on top," Mickelson said. It was an enthralling battle between the two Americans who broke free of the rest of the leader board early on.

Once Mickelson had his nose in front, Watney was unable to pull back the shot as both players made par on each of the last six holes. Watney, 27, who had made just one bogey all week before his three Sunday, had an outside chance with a birdie on the last but his 29 foot putt fell just inches short. Watney covered his face with his hat as he realised his slight chance of glory had passed and he was visibly upset with the outcome.

"It definitely hurts, second feels the worst," he said. "But it was a great week, enjoyed playing against Phil who was not feeling well but played great so hats off to him. "It kind of sucks for me to play well all week and get beat, but that's the nature of the game I guess and I will be back." The world No 1 Tiger Woods, in his first stroke play event since an eight-month layoff following knee surgery, finished on 11 under-par after his 68 on Sunday, enough to tie for ninth.

Woods has never finished out of the top 10 in 28 WGC starts. "The good news is, I got better each and every day," said Woods. The American Jim Furyk finished third after a fine back-nine of five-under 31 to finish three shots behind Mickelson. The Indian Jeev Milkha Singh completed a consistent week with a 70 which ensured a fourth place on 14 under. The Briton Oliver Wilson produced a lively six under round of 66 to tie for fifth with Colombia's Camilio Villegas on 13 under.

The best round of the day came from 25-year-old South African Thomas Aiken who struck a seven-under 65, spoilt only by a bogey on the last. *Reuters