Phil Mickelson held a six-shot lead on Brandt Snedeker heading into Sunday’s final round, so it wasn’t a given that Mickelson would hoist the trophy and the check at the end of the day.
When Mickelson came through the tunnel on 16, the crowd erupted, because they knew they were watching history unfold. Mickelson was a few holes away from his third Waste Management Phoenix Open title.
However, the Sun Devil felt the flames from Snedeker’s clubs all day long, as his lead dipped, but stayed steady.
That steady lead turned into that third Open title for Mickelson, as he turned in a tournament record tying 28-under 256.
The win is also Mickelson’s sixth win in the state of Arizona.
Mickelson is also the second golfer since 1970 (Steve Jones, 1997) to lead wire-to-wire.
“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,” Mickelson said. “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 and come back and hit a number of good shots on the back 9 to do what I needed to do to win.”
Mickelson was referring to a bogey he got on the Par-4 2nd Hole. Luckily for Mickelson, Snedeker parred the hole, so it wasn’t as bad a hole as it could’ve been.
“He’s a good friend, a great individual and a heck of a player,” Mickelson said of Snedeker. “We had some good banter going on today, it was really fun.”
Mickelson said things started to change for the good on Tuesday when he got a new driver, which seemed to revitalize his game.
“It just changed my whole deal,” Mickelson said. “The fact that this club is so easy to hit now, I think it’s going to change the rest of the year for me, I really do.”