Mickelson wins Phoenix Open
Masters champion Phil Mickelson posted a three-under-par 68 on Sunday to win the Phoenix Open by five shots over fellow Americans Scott McCarron and Kevin Na.
Mickelson started the final round with a four-shot edge and finished with a 17-under total of 267.
McCarron and Na shared second on 272.
Mickelson had to make use of his scrambling abilities. He missed five consecutive fairways starting at the 10th hole, but still managed a birdie at 13.
He sealed the victory with a birdie putt from the fringe on 18.
“I had a good feeling going into the tournament,” Mickelson said.
“I was playing well, but after the front nine [on Thursday] I didn’t think that this was going to be my week.
In fact, I thought it was going to be a short week.”
Mickelson started the tournament with a two-over 73 in the first round but vaulted into contention with a 60 on Friday, which matched the course record at the TPC of Scottsdale shared by New Zealand’s Grant Waite (1996) and Mark Calcavecchia (2001).
After the slow start, Mickelson was 19-under over the final 54 holes. He had six bogeys on Thursday but only two over the final three rounds.
“I was able to turn things around, and that second-round 60 was something I haven’t done in a while,” Mickelson said. “It’s a great way to start the year. I’m excited about the way I’ve been playing. I really wanted to have a good week here and I’m very pleased to have played the way I did.”
McCarron carded a six-under 65 and Na shot a 69 on the 6,5km TPC of Scottsdale, but couldn’t do anything to prevent Mickelson from winning his 24th PGA title.
But Na (21) birdied 15 and 17 to post his best United States tour finish.
“I played pretty well this week. I was pretty happy that I played with Phil both rounds,” Na said. “It’s going to be a great experience because it is putting myself in contention.
“It’s hard to do right off the bat. If I keep putting myself in contention, I know I’m going to get my share of wins.”
David Toms, Tim Herron and Steve Flesch finished tied for fourth at 11-under 273.
The tournament record is held by Mark Calcavecchia, who in 2001 finished at 28-under 256—a PGA Tour record for lowest four-round score on a par-71 course. Calcavecchia shot a 71 on Sunday and finished tied for ninth at eight-under.—Sapa-AFP