Mickelson gets his first win since 2013
MEXICO CITY — Phil Mickelson ended the longest drought of his career with a playoff victory Sunday over Justin Thomas in the Mexico Championship, capping off a final round of lustrous cheers in thin air that included Thomas holing a wedge for eagle on the final hole of regulation.
Mickelson, who closed with a 5-under 66, won for the first time since the 2013 British Open at Muirfield, a stretch of 101 tournaments worldwide.
“I can’t put into words how much this means to me,” Mickelson said. “I knew it was going to be soon — I’ve been playing too well for it not to be. But you just never know until it happens.”
Thomas was coming off a playoff victory at the Honda Classic last week, and he delivered the biggest moment at Chapultepec Golf Club. Tied for the lead, his shot to the 18th from 119 yards landed in front of the pin and spun back into the hole for an eagle and a 64.
It almost was too good to be true. Thomas, Mickelson who said Thursday he had never felt worse over the ball, had a 62-64 weekend and suddenly had a two-shot lead.
Mickelson, who turns 48 in June, responded with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 15th and a 20-foot birdie putt on the 16th to tie Thomas.
Tyrrell Hatton, playing in the final group with Mickelson, was stride for stride. He capped off a 3-3-3-3 stretch on the back nine with an eagle at the 15th. But on the final hole, Hatton missed the green to the right, chipped 10 feet by and missed the par putt for a 67 to fall out of a playoff.
The sudden-death playoff — the sixth in eight PGA Tour events this year — didn’t last long.
Thomas went long on the par-3 17th hole and chipped to just inside 10 feet. Mickelson’s 18-foot birdie putt for the victory swirled around the cup, more agony for a 47-year-old who has seen plenty of it since his last victory.
Thomas, however, never got his par attempt on the right line.
They finished at 16-under 268.
Mickelson won his third World Golf Championships title and, just a month after being on the verge of falling out of the top 50 in the world for the first time in two decades, moves to No. 18 in the world.
Shubhankar Sharma, the 21-year-old from India who started with a two-shot lead, didn’t make his first birdie until the 12th hole. He finished with consecutive bogeys for a 74, six shots behind in a three-way tie for ninth. That will leave him on the bubble at No. 66 in the world for making it back to the next World Golf Championship, the Dell Match Play, in three weeks in Texas. Sharma first flies home for the Hero Indian Open next week.