Phil Mickelson fired a blistering final round of 64 in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am to overturn Charlie Wi’s six-shot lead and claim the 40th PGA Tour victory of his career.
Mickelson began the day tied with Tiger Woods, six shots behind third round leader Wi. The South Korean held a three shot advantage over the field coming into the fourth round, but he double-bogeyed the opening hole, taking four putts. That immediately gave the pack a scent of victory.
It was Mickelson who took up the trail most fervently. He made birides at the 2nd and 4th then claimed the lead outright with an eagle on the 6th. Meanwhile Woods was struggling. He failed to make a birdie on the opening stretch then recorded three straight bogeys between the 7th and 9th.
Much like in the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship when Woods faded in the final round, the former World Number 1 just couldn’t get it going. In the end he closed with a 75 – a full 11 shots worse than Mickelson.
“I didn’t hit it as bad as the score indicated, but I putted awful,” Woods said. “As good as I felt on the greens yesterday, I felt bad today. Anything I tried to do wasn’t working. Consequently, I made a ton of mistakes on the green.”
This was the fifth straight time that Mickelson has beaten Woods’ score when they’ve been paired together in the final round of a tournament – a dramatic turnaround from Woods’ days of dominance last decade.
Mickelson secured the victory on the back nine with birdies at the 13th, 14th and 18th holes. Although Wi rallied with three straight birdies to close his round, it wasn’t enough to catch “Lefty.” The victory has moved him back to 11th on the Official World Golf Ranking.
“It feels just amazing,” Mickelson said. “I felt like my game was there, but coming out the first couple of weeks, I posted some horrendous scores and started to question it. To be able to play the way I did the last 18 holes really means a lot.”
AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
Pebble Beach Golf Links, California
Feb 9-12, purse $6,400,000 par 72
1 Phil Mickelson (USA) 70 65 70 64 269 $1,152,000
2 Charlie Wi (Kor) 61 69 69 72 271 $691,200
3 Ricky Barnes (USA) 70 66 70 67 273 $435,200
4 Aaron Baddeley (Aus) 66 72 69 67 274 $307,200
T5 Dustin Johnson (USA) 63 72 70 70 275 $243,200
T5 Kevin Na (USA) 66 69 70 70 275 $243,200
T7 Ken Duke (USA) 64 73 65 74 276 $206,400
T7 Padraig Harrington (Ire) 68 66 72 70 276 $206,400
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage
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