x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Phil Mickelson coasts to Phoenix Open victory

Mickelson recorded his 41st PGA tour victory after a wire-to-wire win in Arizona to claim victory in the competition for the third time.

Phil Mickelson lines up a putt on his way to victory in the Phoenix Open.
Phil Mickelson lines up a putt on his way to victory in the Phoenix Open.

Phil Mickelson fired a four-under par 67 to complete a wire-to-wire victory in the $6.2 million (Dh22.7m) US PGA Phoenix Open for the third time in his career.

It was the first time a player led every round alone on the way to a tour title since Rory McIlroy's breakthrough major triumph at the 2011 US Open.

"I played really good golf," Mickelson said afterwards. "This is how I've been playing for a while and it feels really good to get that golf out of me when I'm at a big tournament."

The four-time major winner recorded his 41st tour victory with 28 under - the second-lowest total ever in a 72-hole tournament on the PGA Tour.

Together with a dominant victory a week ago by Tiger Woods at Torrey Pines, Mickelson's triumph showed that two of the game's most popular stars are in top early season form ahead of the Masters I April.

"It's important to start building momentum but it's more important what you do closer to Augusta," Mickelson said.

"You have got to deal with some of the greatest pressure you will ever deal with at Augusta."

Mickelson had the chance to break Mark Calcavecchia's tournament record with a long-range putt on the final green, but instead was happy to roll it close enough to complete a final-round 67.

His victory also ensures Mickelson has now won a title for a record 10 consecutive years.

"I was nervous at the start," Mickelson said. "When you haven't won (in a while), you want it bad. I had to get control of my thoughts after the first few holes. I had to think about what I wanted to do with my shots."

Brandt Snedeker was second on 260 after a closing 65 with fellow American Scott Piercy finishing with a 61 to stand on 261, one stroke ahead of Ryan Moore and four better than Ryan Palmer.


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