Not being able to keep any food down this week did not stop Phil Mickelson from finally winning the first WGC event of his illustrious career.
Not only did he have to deal with his ailing body following a virus disease, heat exhaustion and dehydration, but a rising star Nick Watney gave Phil all he could handle. Watney narrowly missed out on a happy ending to an inspiring duel by leaving a tying birdie putt on the 72nd hole one turn short of the cup.
The win moved Mickelson back up to number two in the official world golf ranking and gives Phil his best chance at becoming the number one golfer in the world for the first time in his career: If Tiger Woods does not successfully defend his title at Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Invitational, Mickelson can take the number one spot with a victory at the Shell Houston Open one week later. However, he does not seem to bother about the world rankings as his ultimate goal is just three weeks away at a little tournament in Georgia called the Masters.
Going into the final round of the CA Championship, Mickelson and Watney were tied for the lead at 16 under par. The first nine saw a see-saw affair with both players grabbing the lead at some point in the round until Phil made a birdie on the eigth hole to grab what looked like a commanding two stroke lead.
After Watney missed the green wildly with his tee shot on the ninth hole, it looked like Mickelson’s lead was going to increase by one or maybe even two shots when Watney knocked an improbable chip in the hole to get within one shot of the lead. On the tenth hole, Watney hit his best shot of the day setting up an eagle putt to match Phil’s birdie on the same hole to share the lead once again like
After matching bogies on the twelth hole, a bogey at the previous hole by Watney gave Phil the one shot advantage he needed heading into the 72nd hole. After crushing a drive close to the water with precision, Phil hit a baby cut shot perfectly to the back of the green to secure the trophy.
The win was Phil’s 2nd victory of the season (following his triumph at the Northern Trust Open only three weeks ago) and it moved him into second position in the Fed Ex Cup standings right behind the only other two time winner on the tour this year, Geoff Ogilvy.
The win was also a wire-to-wire victory for Mickelson who either shared or had the outright lead after each of the four rounds. Mickelson will take a much needed rest now as his Augusta preparations continue. His next tournament will be the Shell Houston Open.
- Phil misses out on World No. 1 after Sunday collapse
- Mickelson wins again, takes HSBC Champions after dramatic finish
- Mickelson and Woods set for final-round showdown in China
- Mickelson loses Bridgestone Invitational Shoot-Out after late bogeys
- Bridgestone Invitational: Phil in 2nd place at halfway point