Mickelson completes wire-to-wire win in Phoenix Open

PHIL MICKELSON carded 4-under 67 in the final round to complete a wire-to-wire victory Sunday (Monday morning in Manila) in the Phoenix Open.

He finished at 28-under 256, two strokes off the PGA Tour record of 254 set by Tommy Armour III in the 2003 Texas Open.

Brandt Snedeker capped another brilliant week with a 6-under 65 and finished alone in second with 24-under 260.

The turning point came on the par-3 seventh.

Phil Mickelson’s 5-iron shot sailed long and right, stopping an inch from the fringe and leaving him in danger of losing at least a stroke to playing partner Snedeker.

Mickelson ended up leaving Snedeker shaking his head.

Fifty-five feet away, with a mound and a 20-foot swath of fringe between his ball and the hole, Mickelson decided to putt through the taller grass rather than chip over it. He had caddie Jim Mackay remove the flagstick so that it wouldn’t deflect the ball if it had too much speed, a move that proved wise when the ball raced into the cup.

“The challenge of that was to judge the speed where half the putt is through fringe and half is on the green,” Mickelson said. “I got lucky to have made it, obviously. I was just trying to two-putt it. It was going fairly quickly when it got to the hole, probably would have been 6, 8 feet by. With Brandt in there close, that was a big momentum change.”

Snedeker joked with Mickelson for a moment before holing his own birdie putt.

“Are you kidding me?” Snedeker said about his reaction to the putt. “I fully expected Phil to hit a flop shot from there. He didn’t have much of a putt, and he putted through it.

“I hit a great shot in there close and I thought, ‘Hey, I can get one on him here and put some pressure on him.’ He makes that, and he let me hear about it before I putt, and he let me know that I needed to make that to tie. We had fun with it. That’s Phil being Phil.” Noli Cruz

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