Phil Mickelson fired a closing 69 to win the World Golf Championship – CA Championship at Doral in Florida by a single shot over countryman Nick Watney. It was Mickelson’s first World Golf Championship title.
The two Americans went into the final day tied for the lead on -16 but it was Mickelson who eventually came out on top in a very close contest.
Mickelson had been treated overnight for heat exhaustion and had been suffering from a virus, but he summoned just enough energy to claim his 36th PGA Tour title and climb back to second on the Official World Golf Ranking – less than half a point behind Tiger Woods.
“I haven’t eaten much in three days and I fought hard. I knew I was playing some of my best golf coming in here so I’m very excited to have finished it off.” He said. “I wasn’t really able to pay attention to some of the great shots that Nick hit because I was so worried about keeping my energy level high and steady throughout the round.”
27-year-old Watney put up a great fight through the final round and tied Mickelson for the lead when he pitched in from over the ninth green. An incredible shot, he had to fire the ball between a spectator stand and a TV tower.
Watney hung on to Mickelson’s coat tails through the back nine and had a final chance to catch the leader on the 18th. His putt from the back of the green was tracking for the hole but came up just one revolution shy.
“I can’t believe I left it short.” He said. “I’m pleased with the way I played though. Right now it still hurts to finish second; disappointing to come up one shot short. But overall it was a positive week.”
Jim Furyk was the fastest finisher, he shot a back nine of 31 to move into sole possession of third place, two ahead of Jeev Milkha Singh in fourth.
England’s Oliver Wilson posted an excellent final round of 66 to climb into a tie for fifth with Camilo Villegas and was the best placed of the Europeans.
Tiger Woods closed with a 68 to finish tied ninth. It meant he maintained his record of finishing in the top ten of every WGC strokeplay event he’s entered.
19-year-old Rory McIlroy had a disappointing final round of 73 and dropped back into a share for 20th place.
WGC – CA Championship Doral Golf Resort and Spa, Florida Mar 15-15, purse $8,500,000, par 72
1 Phil Mickelson (USA) 65 66 69 69 269 $1,400,000 2 Nick Watney (USA) 66 67 67 70 270 $820,000 3 Jim Furyk (USA) 68 68 69 67 272 $470,000 4 Jeev M Singh (Ind) 65 71 68 70 274 $360,000 T5 Camilo Villegas (Col) 67 68 69 71 275 $275,000 T5 Oliver Wilson (Eng) 67 70 72 66 275 $275,000 T7 Thomas Aiken (RSA) 74 66 71 65 276 $192,500 T7 Soren Kjeldsen (Den) 70 66 69 71 276 $192,500 T9 Justin Leonard (USA) 69 69 68 71 277 $142,500 T9 Rod Pampling (Aus) 66 69 71 71 277 $142,500 T9 Kenny Perry (USA) 70 64 71 72 277 $142,500 T9 Tiger Woods (USA) 71 70 68 68 277 $142,500
Note: Players in bold signifies Titleist ball usage only
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Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly.
Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?
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