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Phil Mickelson ends longest drought with playoff win in Mexico

UPDATED: Sun., March 4, 2018, 11:04 p.m.

Phil Mickelson poses with his Mexico Championship trophy at the Chapultepec Golf Club in Mexico City, Sunday, March 4, 2018. (Eduardo Verdugo / Associated Press)
Phil Mickelson poses with his Mexico Championship trophy at the Chapultepec Golf Club in Mexico City, Sunday, March 4, 2018. (Eduardo Verdugo / Associated Press)

MEXICO CITY – Phil Mickelson ended the longest drought of his career with a playoff victory Sunday over Justin Thomas in the Mexico Championship, capping off a wild day that included Thomas holing out for eagle on the final hole of regulation.

Mickelson, who closed with a 5-under 66, won for the first time since the 2013 British Open at Muirfield, a run of 101 tournaments worldwide.

“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.”

Thomas, coming off a playoff victory at the Honda Classic, delivered the biggest moment at Chapultepec Golf Club. Tied for the lead, his shot to the 18th from 119 yards landed in front of the pin and spun back into the hole for an eagle and a 64. Mickelson responded with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 15th and a 20-foot birdie putt on the 16th to tie Thomas.

Tyrrell Hatton, playing in the final group with Mickelson, was stride for stride. He capped off a 3-3-3-3 stretch on the back nine with an eagle at the 15th. But on the final hole, Hatton missed the green to the right, chipped 10 feet by and missed the par putt for a 67 to fall out of a playoff.

In the playoff, Thomas went long on the par-3 17th hole and chipped to just inside 10 feet. Mickelson’s 18-foot birdie putt for the victory swirled around the cup, more agony for a 47-year-old who has seen plenty of it since his last victory. Thomas, however, never got his par attempt on the right line.

Mickelson won his third World Golf Championships title and, just a month after being on the verge of falling out of the top 50 in the world for the first time in two decades, moves to No. 18 in the world.

Wie wins first since 2014

Michelle Wie made a 36-foot birdie putt from just off the 18th green to win the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore, capturing her first title since the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open.

Wie closed with a 7-under 65, and then had to wait to see if it would stand at Sentosa Golf Club.

Nelly Korda, the 54-hole leader, had an 8-foot birdie chance on the final hole to force a playoff. She failed to make birdie over the final eight holes and closed with a 71. Danielle Kang had a longer birdie chance on the 18th and missed. They finished one shot behind, along with Jenny Shin (65) and Brooke Henderson (67).

Stricker takes Cologuard

Steve Stricker finally hit the 18th fairway on Omni Tucson National’s Catalina Course – and has his first PGA Tour Champions victory to show for it.

Stricker, 51, came through in the Cologuard Classic in Tucson, Arizona, a year after hitting left into the water on 18, blowing a chance for a victory in his senior debut, and a day after another 3-wood drive rolled into the water in a closing double bogey.

The 12-time PGA Tour winner birdied the par-5 15th and closed with three pars for a 4-under 69, hitting another 3-wood on the par-4 18th.

He finished two strokes ahead of Jerry Kelly (65), Gene Sauers (70) and Scott Dunlap (71).


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