Mickelson beats Thomas in Mexico play-off to win first event since 2013


Phil Mickelson

The victory in Mexico is Phil Mickelson’s first title since the 2013 Open at Muirfield

Five-time major winner Phil Mickelson defeated Justin Thomas in a play-off to win the WGC-Mexico Championship – his first victory since the 2013 Open.

Thomas chipped in for eagle at the last for a seven-under 64 but watched fellow American Mickelson birdie the 15th and 16th to post 66 for a 16-under total.

Mickelson, 47, parred the first extra hole to win his 46th title and end a run of 101 tournaments without a win.

England’s Tyrell Hatton missed out on the play-off after a bogey on the 18th.

Hatton was in a three-way tie with Mickelson and Thomas but he signed for a 67 after his dropped shot and finished joint third with Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello, who had birdied the same hole in his closing 67.

He told the European Tour website: “You don’t get many opportunities to win WGC events and I feel like I’ve thrown a really good opportunity away. So I’m pretty upset, definitely angry.”

Mickelson, who became the oldest winner of a World Golf Championship event, said: “I can’t put into words how much this means to me given the tough times over the last four years.

“The struggle to get back here, knowing that I was able to compete at this level but not doing it, and the frustration that that led to. To finally break through and to have this validation means a lot to me..

“For it to happen here in Mexico City against the best players in the world is such an encouraging and validating feeling. This is hopefully going to propel me on to better stuff.”

The sudden death play-off was the sixth in eight PGA Tour events this year and Thomas, who won via a play-off last week, was attempting to become the first to win by that method in successive weeks since David Duval in 1997.

The world number two said it was “pretty unbelievable” he had even had a chance of winning but added he was “happy” that Mickelson won.

“He’s really been working hard to get back in the winner’s circle, and it was a great week for both of us.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/golf/43282346

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