Phil Mickelson capped off a tumultuous summer at home with a spectacular rally Sunday to win the Tour Championship.
Tiger Woods won the FedEx Cup and its $10 million bonus.
In a riveting conclusion to golf’s regular season, its two biggest stars shared the stage at East Lake with trophies that were meaningful in vastly different ways.
Mickelson seized control with a 31 on the front nine and closed with a 5-under 65 for a three-shot victory, his first since his wife and his mother were diagnosed with breast cancer in the spring. Both have a positive outlook in the recovery, although it has been an emotional burden for Lefty over the last three months.
For the third time this year, Woods struggled while playing in the final pairing. He didn’t make a birdie until the 15th hole, and by then it was too late to catch Mickelson. Woods closed with an even-par 70, ending his FedEx playoff streak of eight consecutive rounds in the 60s, and was alone in second.
Even so, he received quite a consolation prize – a FedEx Cup title that rewarded him for a remarkable year in which he came back from major knee surgery. Woods won six times, and was either first or second in more than half his events.
Mickelson, who returned to No. 2 in the world with his victory, finished at 9-under 271. He needed Woods to finish eighth or worse to have any chance in the FedEx Cup, although Mickelson still climbed to No. 2 and earned a $3 million bonus, on top of his $1.35 million for winning the Tour Championship.
Sophie Gustafson won on the LPGA Tour for the first time in six years, cruising to a four-stroke victory over top-ranked Lorena Ochoa in the CVS/pharmacy LPGA Challenge in Danville, Calif.
The 35-year-old Swede shot a 4-under 68 at Blackhawk Country Club and finished at 20-under 268 to win her first LPGA Tour title since the 2003 Samsung World Championship. She earned $165,000 for her fifth career tour victory.
Ochoa shot an even-par 72 to finish at 16 under. She’s winless in 11 starts since taking the Corona Championship in her native Mexico in late April. She has only two victories in 17 events this year after winning 21 times in the previous three years.
Amy Yang (66) and Sun Young Yoo (68) tied for third at 14 under.
Tom Pernice Jr. became the 15th player to win in his Champions Tour debut, holing a 35-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a one-stroke victory over Nick Price and David Frost in the SAS Championship at Cary, N.C.
Pernice, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour, closed with a 3-under 69 to finish at 13-under 203 on the Prestonwood Country Club course.
Frost shot a 67, and Price had a 68.
Pernice is the third player this year to win in his debut, following Tom Lehman, who teamed with Bernhard Langer in the Liberty Mutual Legends, and Senior PGA winner Michael Allen. In the 2007 SAS Championship, Mark Wiebe won his tour debut. Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player also won in their first senior starts.
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