Phil Mickelson sunk a 55-foot putt to get him out of trouble and ultimately edged out playing partner Brandt Snedeker to claim the victory at the Phoenix Open.
Speaking of his long putt for which he had caddie Jim Mackay remove the flagstick so that it wouldn’t deflect the ball if it had too much speed, Mickelson noted:
”The challenge of that was to judge the speed where half the putt is through fringe and half is on the green. 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.”
After Mickelson sunk his extremely difficult putt, Snedeker joked:
”Are you kidding me?’ 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.”
Mickelson finished the day with a 4-under 67 and 28-under 256, just two strokes off the PGA tour record of 254, which was set at the Texas Open in 2003 by Tommy Armour III.
Speaking of his renewed performance after weeks of struggling, Phil Mickelson revealed:
”It’s an important one for me, because it’s been a while since I won, been a while since I’ve been in contention. I was certainly nervous heading into today. I think the thing I’m most excited about was the way I was able to regain control of my thoughts after a few shots early on that I didn’t care for.”
The PGA star has competed in the event 24 times and won the tournament in both 1996 and 2005. Mickelson has now tied the tournaments scoring record, which was set by Mark Calcavecchia in 2001.
Phil Mickelson also became the fourth person to win the tournament three times. The other three-time winners include Calcavecchia, Arnold Palmer, and Gene Littler.