Phil Mickelson beat Justin Thomas on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff for the WGC-Mexico Championship to claim his first victory since the Open Championship of 2013.
Phil Mickelson pipped Justin Thomas on the first extra hole to win the WGC-Mexico Championship at Chapultepec GC. When both players had finished 72-holes on 16-under, they headed to the par-3 17th to settle the event in sudden-death.
Thomas fired through the green and was unable to get up-and-down. Mickelson made his three and, at 47, became the oldest ever winner of a World Golf Championship.
“I can’t put into words how much this means to me, its been a long time,” he said. “To come here to Mexico City with the fans here and play against the best players in the world and finally come through… I knew it was going to come soon, I was playing too well for it not to but you never know until it happens.”
“My game is starting to get to a level that is some of my best golf and it seems like it’s just in time. It’s nice to be in that small circle called the winner’s circle; I haven’t been in it for a while.”
It was a 43rd PGA Tour title for Mickelson but his first since The Open Championship of 2013. Mickelson’s first victory on the circuit came more than 27 years ago.
The playoff at Chapultepec followed a dramatic conclusion to regulation play. The on-form Justin Thomas, coming off the back of a win in The Honda Championship was 11 shots off the lead, held by Shubhankar Sharma through 36 holes. But he moved back into contention with a 62 in round three.
Thomas made six birdies in his first 15 holes on Sunday to move into the lead but looked to have lost his chance with a bogey on the 17th. The 24-year-old was not done, however. On the par-4 18th, he spun his second shot back into the hole for an incredible eagle two.
That set a clubhouse target of 268 and only Mickelson could match it.
England’s Tyrrell Hatton might have got in at 16-under, as he was tied for the lead with one to play. But he dropped a shot on the home hole and finished one back along with Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello.
Justin Thomas may have gone on to narrowly lose out in the playoff but he can console himself with the fact his second place finish has seen him climb to second place on the Official World Golf Ranking.
Overnight leader Shubhankar Sharma of India had a disappointing final round of 74 and dropped back into a tie for ninth. Still, he continues to lead the Race to Dubai standings.
Chapultepec GC, Mexico City, Mexico
Purse: $10,500,000 Par: 71
1 Phil Mickelson (USA) 69 68 65 66 268 €1,392,415
2 Justin Thomas (USA) 72 70 62 64 268 €878,041
T3 Rafa Cabrera-Bello (Esp) 66 67 69 67 269 €418,134
T3 Tyrrell Hatton (Eng) 70 68 64 67 269 €418,134
T5 Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha) 66 69 71 65 271 €270,702
T5 Brian Harman (USA) 68 67 68 68 271 €270,702
T7 Sergio Garcia (Esp) 68 65 69 70 272 €196,372
T7 Dustin Johnson (USA) 69 66 68 69 272 €196,372
T9 Adam Hadwin (Can) 70 71 67 66 274 €149,070
T9 Shubhankar Sharma (Ind) 65 66 69 74 274 €149,070
T9 Bubba Watson (USA) 69 66 72 67 274 €149,070
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage