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Phil Mickelson
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The Takeaway

Mickelson, 47, wins WGC-Mexico

by Mo Yoshimoto
Updated On: February 15, 2019, 9:43 am ET

WGC-Mexico Championship

Mexico City, Mexico



Hall of Famer and World No. 34 Phil Mickelson erased a two-shot deficit with 5-under-par 32-34=66 in Sunday’s final round at Club de Golf Chapultepec to match World No. 3 Justin Thomas (64) on 16-under 268, and then defeated him with a two-putt par on the first hole of sudden death, the par-3 17th.


The 47-year-old, a pre-tourney 25/1 outright, bags his 43rd PGA TOUR title in 578 career events (560 pro), first since the 2013 Open Championship (Muirfield) 98 starts and a little over 4 years, 7 months ago.


“To have the belief that I was going to get there and finally break through and do it feels incredible. I believe that more is to come,” Mickelson said afterward.


“I knew it was going to be soon… I’ve been playing too well for it not to be.” – also Mickelson


The Californian has been saying similar things since T3 at the season-opener in Napa, and, he’s now posted his fourth top 5 of the season in eight starts. Further, Mickelson’s connected four straight top 10s for the first time since 2005.   



At the above-mentioned Open in July, 2013, he came from five back (T9) with 5-under 66 to win by three over Henrik Stenson. It was his second of two wins in 2013 (WM Phoenix Open); his second after being inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in May of 2012; and his fifth major title.


Overall, this is the ASU alum’s 16th come-from-behind victory with five of his last seven wins coming in that fashion. Interestingly, his T1 after Round 4 this week was his first lead/co-lead on TOUR since T1 after Round 1 here last year, eventually finishing T7 (67-68-68-71).


It’s Lefty’s 19th top-10 finish in 53 WGC events and his second win. He won this tourney in 2009 at Doral (as 54-hole co-leader), and also won the 2009 HSBC Champions, but the HSBC didn’t become an official TOUR event until the 2013-14 edition. So, three, but technically two.




Final Leaderboard:



P1- Phil Mickelson 69-68-65-66= 268 (-16)

P2- Justin Thomas 72-70-62-64= 268 (-16)

T3- Rafa Cabrera Bello 66-67-69-67= 269 (-15)

T3- Tyrrell Hatton 70-68-64-67= 269 (-15)

T5- Kiradech Aphibarnrat 66-69-71-65= 271 (-13)

T5- Brian Harman 68-67-68-68= 271 (-13)




Mickelson’s Position by Round:



R1: T13

R2: T14

R3: T2

R4: T1



Thomas’ Position by Round:



R1: T39

R2: T38

R3: 10

R4: T1




Leader/co-leaders by Round:



R1: Louis Oosthuizen (finished T30): Drops to 0-for-1 as 18-hole leader/co-leader


R2: Shubhankar Sharma (T9): Drops to 0-for-1 as 36-hole leader/co-leader


R3: Shubhankar Sharma (T9): Drops to 0-for-1 as 54-hole leader/co-leader


R4: Phil Mickelson (P1): Improves playoff record to 8-4

R4: Justin Thomas (P2): Drops to 2-1







This was Mickelson’s first playoff appearance since a P2 at the 2012 Northern Trust (now Genesis) Open. Before this week, he’d lost his last three sudden-death appearances, while his most recent playoff win was the 2005 BellSouth Classic that was reduced to 54 holes.









578: starts (560 pro)

483: cuts made (83%)


315: top 25s (54%)

192: top 10s (33%)

105: top 3s (18%)

43: wins (7%)



Wins by Season (snapshot):



2018: 1

2017: 0

2016: 0

2015: 0

2014: 0

2013: 2

2012: 1

2011: 1

2010: 1




Mickelson is now 7-for-8 on the season with six top 25s, five top 10s, four straight, and four top 5s. He checked in off a T6 two weeks ago at the Genesis and T2 the week prior to that at the AT&T Pro-Am.


Season Form: P1-T6-T2-T5-T45-CUT-T15-T3






At 47 years of age, Mickelson was the oldest person in the 64-man field and becomes the oldest player to win a WGC event, supplanting Vijay Singh, who was 45 when he won the 2008 Bridgestone.







Justin Thomas: The FedExCup leader was going for his third win of the season in eight starts, third in playoffs, and second straight after last week’s win at the Honda. After opening in even-par 72-70, he nearly pulled it off, playing the weekend in 16-under, including a course-record 62 in R3, and a day-low 64.


The 24-year-old’s 62, which tied the tournament record with four other players, featured an opening eagle-2 at hole 1 (from 26’7”). His Sunday 64 culminated with a dramatic hole-out eagle-2 at 18 from 121 yards away to post the clubhouse target, matched by Mickelson three groups later.


Dating to a solo 2nd at the 2017 TOUR Championship – which won him the FEC crown – the Alabama product has now recorded nine straight top-25 finishes, second only to Jason Day, who’s connected 10 straight, and was his third consecutive top 10:


Season Form: P2-P1-T9-17-T14-T22-P1-T17


Thomas’ P2 was his second top 10 in nine WGCs, joining a T5 here last year, where he was the 54-hole leader by one (69-66-66-72). He nudges one spot to a career-high 2ndin OWGR, bumping Jon Rahm (T20) to 3rd.




Field Scoring Average:



This was the 19th playing of this WGC event, second as the Mexico Championship, and second consecutive at Club de Golf Chapultepec:



Yardage: 7,345

Par: 71 (35-36)


Cumulative scoring averages: R1: 70.75; R2: 70.11; R3: 70.28; R4: 70.25


Total: 70.35



Mickelson’s rounds: 69-68-65-66 for 13.391 SG: Total

Thomas’ rounds: 72-70-62-64 for 13.391 SG: Total






Four players posted four sub-70 rounds: Mickelson (P1); Cabrera Bello (T3); Harman (T5); Dustin Johnson (T7).




How Mickelson Won on Sunday:



He began in a four-way T2 – tied with Tyrrell Hatton who completed the final threesome – and two back of leader and playing competitor Shubhankar Sharma.


Mickelson camouflaged two bogeys at 3 (3-putt from 95’1”) and 11, with seven birdies, including back-to-backs at 15 and 16, the latter from 19’4” to tie Thomas. He had a 36’2” birdie try on the 72nd hole to win in regulation, left it 3’4” short, but calmly knocked in the par putt.


Hatton, who had jumped into a share of the lead with eagle-3 at 15, missed the green from the fairway on 18 (151 yards out), and failed to get up-and-down, unable to drop a par-saver from 10’7” for a 67. That dropped him out of the playoff and into a T3 with Cabrera Bello (67), who made birdie on the last from 10’3”.





FIRST playoff hole (par-3 17th):



Thomas (went first):

Shot 1: 174 yds to left rough, 37’4” to hole

Shot 2: 28’0” to green, 9’4” to hole

Shot 3: putt, missed, eliminated




Shot 1: 164 yds to green, 16’4” to hole

Shot 2: putt, 17’3”, 7 in. to hole

Shot 3: in the hole; par




Round 4 Stats Comparison (ranking of 64 players):



SG: Off-the-Tee:

Mickelson: 0.34 (24th)

Thomas: 2.25 (1st)


SG: Approach-the-Green:

Mickelson: 1.01 (15th)

Thomas: 0.98 (16th)



SG: Around-the-Green:

Mickelson: 0.9 (13th)

Thomas: 1.43 (6th)


SG: Putting:

Mickelson: 2.0 (12th)

Thomas: 1.5 (3rd)


SG: Total:

Mickelson: 4.25 (T4)

Thomas: 6.25 (1st)



Mickelson: 29 (T29)

Thomas: 24 (T1)




Mickelson’s Weekly Stats (ranking of 64 players):



Birdies: 22 (2nd)

Bogeys: 4 (1st)

Double Bogeys: 1 (T18)



Par-3 Scoring: 2.88 (T4)

Par-4 Scoring: 3.84 (T7)

Par-5 Scoring: 4.42 (T8)



Driving Distance (all drives): 311 yards (T16)

Driving Accuracy: 27/56 (T53) at 48.21%

Greens in Regulation: 50/72 (T25) at 69.44%

Proximity to Hole: 37’10” (39th)

Putts per GIR: 1.660 (3rd)

Total Putts: 109 (T3)

Putts by Round: 30-26-24-29

Scrambling: 18/22 (2nd) at 81.82%

All Around: (T11)



SG: Off-the-Tee: 1.92 (19th)

SG: Approach-the-Green: 3.19 (12th)

SG: Around-the-Green: 0.89 (22nd)

SG: Putting: 7.40 (3rd)

SG: Tee-to-Green: 5.99 (12th)




Low Rounds:



R1: 64: Louis Oosthuizen

R2: 65: Kyle Stanley, Sergio Garcia

R3: 62: Justin Thomas

R4: 64: Justin Thomas




Bogey-free Rounds:



R1: Louis Oosthuizen (64); Xander Schauffele (65); Shubhankar Sharma (65); Rafa Cabrera Bello (66)

R2: Kyle Stanley (65); Sergio Garcia (65); Brendan Steele (66); Charley Hoffman (66); Bubba Watson (66); Jordan Spieth (67); Xander Schauffele (68); Marc Leishman (68); Tyrrell Hatton (68)

R3: Tyrrell Hatton (64); Phil Mickelson (67); Adam Hadwin (67)

R4: Bernd Wiesberger (66)



Multiple Bogey-free Rounds:


Schauffele (x2); Hatton (x2)




Career-TOUR-Best Finishes:



Tyrrell Hatton (T3)

Shubhankar Sharma (T9); non-member; TOUR debut

Adam Bland (T18); non-member; tourney debut

Jorge Campillo (T27); non-member; WGC debut

Dean Burmester (T30); non-member; tourney debut

Chris Paisley (T37); non-member; TOUR debut

Wade Ormsby (T50); non-member; WGC debut




Updated Top 10 in FEC standings (points):



Mickelson collects 550 FEC points for the victory and jumps 14 places to 3rd in the FEC standings. Thomas remains No. 1 in the standings for a second event in a row and a second week overall this season:



1. Justin Thomas (1,573)

2. Patton Kizzire (1,314)

3. Phil Mickelson (1,149); UP 14

4. Dustin Johnson (1,044); DOWN one

5. Jon Rahm (982); DOWN one

6. Brendan Steele (866); DOWN one

7. Tony Finau (850)

8. Pat Perez (837); UP two

9. Jason Day (814); DOWN two

10. Chez Reavie (800); DOWN two


Note: Gary Woodland (finished T50), dropped from 10th to 12th with 767 points.  




Updated Top 10 in OWGR:



With a Strength of Field rating of 679 (down from 787 last year), Mickelson banks 72.00 world-ranking points and climbs 16 spots to 18th in OWGR.



1. Dustin Johnson

2. Justin Thomas; UP one; career high

3. Jon Rahm; DOWN one

4. Jordan Spieth

5. Justin Rose

6. Hideki Matsuyama

7. Rickie Fowler

8. Brooks Koepka; UP one

9. Jason Day; DOWN one

10. Tommy Fleetwood; UP one; career high




Field Breakdown & Top-10 Finishes:



OWGR field average: 57th   

OWGR average for top-10 finishers: 28th   



20 of the Top 25 in OWGR were in the field

6 finished in the top 10



No. 1 Dustin Johnson (T7); odds-fave; defender

No. 3 Justin Thomas (P2)

No. 12 Sergio Garcia (T7)

No. 16 Tyrrell Hatton (T3)

No. 20 Rafa Cabrera Bello (T3)

No. 21 Brian Harman (T5)



45 of the Top 50 OWGR

10 finished in the top 10



No. 34 Phil Mickelson (P1)

No. 40 Kiradech Aphibarnrat (T5)

No. 41 Bubba Watson (T9)

No. 49 Adam Hadwin (T9)



Other Top 10s:



No. 75 Shubhankar Sharma (T9)



Other Notables:



No. 2 Jon Rahm (T20)

No. 4 Jordan Spieth (T14)

No. 5 Justin Rose (T37)

No. 7 Rickie Fowler (T37)

No. 11 Tommy Fleetwood (T14)

No. 14 Alex Noren (T14)

No. 15 Marc Leishman (T37)




Season Leaders in Top-10 Finishes:



6: Brian Harman

5: Phil Mickelson


4: Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Patton Kizzire, Chesson Hadley



Consecutive Top 10s on TOUR:



4: Phil Mickelson (P1-T6-T2-T5)

3: Justin Thomas (P2-P1-T9)


2: Bubba Watson (T9-1)

2: Adam Hadwin (T9-T6)

2: Jason Day (T2-P1)

2: Martin Laird (T9-T9)




Consecutive Top-10 streaks ended at:



6: Justin Rose (T37-T8-1-T10-T2-T10-T10)




Consecutive Top-25 streaks on TOUR:



10: Jason Day (T2-P1-T11-T11-T17-4-T25-T6-T9-T24)


9: Justin Thomas (P2-P1-T9-T17-T14-T22-P1-T17-2)

6: Dustin Johnson (T7-T16-T2-1-T2-T17)

5: Alex Noren (T14-3-T16-T21-P2)




Consecutive Top-25 streaks ENDED at:



6: Justin Rose (T37-T8-1-T10-T2-T10-T10)




Season Leaders in Top-25 finishes:



8: Justin Thomas, Chez Reavie

7: Brian Harman, Brandon Harkins

6: Phil Mickelson, Patton Kizzire, Daniel Berger, Cameron Smith, Austin Cook




TOUR Rookies &/or First-Timers:



TOUR Rookies: 1

Top-10 finishes: 0



Peter Uihlein: This was the 28-year-old’s second appearance (T25/2014 at Doral), fourth overall WGC, and was in the field via an 18th-place finish in last season’s Race to Dubai Rankings. As the only TOUR rookie that qualified, by default, he takes top-rookie honors with T37 on 1-under 283 (74-72-70-67). It’s the third time this season in 10 starts that the Oklahoma State product’s been low rookie (T10, CIMB; T5, WGC-HSBC).


Season Form: T37-CUT-T26-T52-CUT-T17-CUT-T5-T10-CUT

FEC Rank: 60th (no change)

OWGR: 62nd (no change)




WGC-Mexico Debut: 18

Top-10 finishes: 3



Brian Harman: Making his tourney debut, the 31-year-old was top first-timer with T5 on 13-under 271 (68-67-68-68). It’s his seventh top 25 of the season in nine starts and a TOUR-leading sixth top 10.  Overall, this was the Georgia alum’s fourth WGC, second top 10 and second straight after solo 8th at the HSBC last fall.


Season Form: T5-T33-CUT-T20-T4-3-T4-8-T5

FEC Rank: 13th (no change)

OWGR: 22nd (DOWN one)



Adam Hadwin: Making his tourney debut, the 30-year-old finished T9 on 10-under 274 (70-71-67-66). It’s his third top 25 of the season in nine starts and third top 10, second straight (T6, Genesis). Overall, it was his third WGC event and second top 10 (T5, 2017 Bridgestone).


Season Form: T9-T6-T43-T35-T3-32-T65-T47-T51

FEC Rank: 35th (UP nine)

OWGR: 44th (UP five); career high




WGC Debut: 6

Top-10 finishes: 1



Shubhankar Sharma: Making his PGA TOUR and WGC debut, the 21-year-old was the only one of six WGC debutants to finish in the top 25. With rounds of 65-66-69, he was the second- and third-round leader before closing in 3-over 74 for T9 on 10-under 274. The Indian remains atop the Race to Dubai Rankings and is No. 2 on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.


FEC Rank: non-member

OWGR: 66th (up nine); career high




Picking a Winner:





Through 17 events this season:



5 winners were in their 20s

9 were in their 30s

3 were in their 40s (Mickelson: age: 47)





12 (of 17) winners had a top-25 finish the start prior (71%):

Mickelson? Yes: T6 (Genesis)





7 (of 17) winners had a top-10 finish the start prior (41%)

Mickelson? Yes: T6 (Genesis)






Average winner’s pre-tourney odds outright (rounded)





In the last 110 events on TOUR, the pre-tourney fave/co-fave has won eight times for a conversion percentage of 7.2%.



This Season:


17 tournaments

2 pre-tourney fave/co-faves won:


Jon Rahm: 8/1 (CareerBuilder)

Justin Thomas: 15/2 (CJ CUP)




This week’s favorite(s):


Dustin Johnson (13/2): Defender and odds-fave finished T7 on 12-under 272 (69-66-68-69), four short of the playoff. Tiger Woods remains the only player to successfully defend a WGC title, accomplishing that feat eight times. 



Last week’s winner(s):


Justin Thomas (P2)