Phil Mickelson closed with a four-under-par 67 to complete a wire-to-wire victory in the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale in Arizona.
Mickelson opened the tournament with a first round of 60, lipping out on the final green for a 59, and he barely took his foot off the accelerator for the rest of the week. He entered the final round six clear of Brandt Snedeker and the 2012 FedEx Cup champion applied some pressure to Mickelson on the front nine, cutting the lead to three and forcing Phil to make two audacious birdies to maintain his advantage.
On the par-3 7th, the 42-year-old played a poor tee-shot and left himself a treacherous 50-foot putt across and down a slope and through the fringe. It looked like he might drop a shot and, with Snedeker in close, a two-shot swing was possible. But Mickelson, drawing on all his short game genius, asked his caddy Jim “Bones” MacKay to remove the flag and the left-hander duly rolled it in.
“I was trying to two-putt it and it was going fairly quickly when it hit the hole,” said Mickelson. I got lucky to have made it.”
The lead was pegged back to just three again with two holes to play but Mickelson made a birdie at the 17th to seal the deal. With a par at the last, he secured his 41st PGA Tour title. He’s now ninth on the all-time list, just four PGA Tour victories behind Walter Hagen.
Snedeker who finished runner-up to Tiger Woods last week at Torrey Pines was forced to settle for second place again.
“I keep running into Hall of Famers,” he joked after the round. “But, sometimes you have to tip your hat and say, `Phil played unbelievable and deserved to win.'”
Scott Piercy fired a superb closing round of 61 to climb into third place, one ahead of another American Ryan Moore.
Ireland’s Padraig Harrington looked like he might mount a challenge early in his final round, but he was unable to press on. He closed with a 70 to finish the week in a tie for ninth.
Waste Management Phoenix Open
TPC Scottsdale, Scottsdale, Arizona
Jan 31 – Feb 3, purse $6,200,000 par 71
1 Phil Mickelson (USA) 60 65 64 67 256 $1,116,000
2 Brandt Snedeker (USA) 64 66 65 65 260 $669,600
3 Scott Piercy (USA) 70 66 64 61 261 $421,600
4 Ryan Moore (USA) 66 66 65 65 262 $297,600
5 Ryan Palmer (USA) 64 73 66 62 265 $248,000
T6 Bill Haas (USA) 65 64 70 67 266 $207,700
T6 Brendon de Jonge (Zim) 66 67 67 66 266 $207,700
T6 Brendan Steele (USA) 69 65 65 67 266 $207,700
T9 Matt Every (USA) 65 67 69 66 267 $173,600
T9 Padraig Harrington (Ire) 64 70 63 70 267 $173,600
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage
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