Late magic gives Mickelson Colonial title

colonial.jpgOften chastised for his aggressive style of play and questionable decision-making, Phil Mickelson is a go-for-broke type of golfer. But when his bold approach combines with his brilliant talent, Mickelson can produce strokes of genius.

Standing about 140 yards from the hole during the final round of the Crown Plaza Invitational at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Mickelson threaded a wedge shot under one tree and over another and landed it nine feet from the pin on the 72nd and final hole of the tournament. Mickelson calmly sank the nine-foot birdie putt to win the event by one stroke over Australian Rod Pampling and South African Tim Clark. It was the 34th career victory for Mickelson and his second career title at Colonial.

“If there is a chance at all, I’m going for it,” Mickelson told the press. “You have to take some risks.”

Mickelson only had the chance to win the tournament outright with the birdie on the last because of a blunder by Pampling on the 17th hole.

Pampling held a one-shot advantage over Mickelson with two holes to play until an errant tee shot on No. 17 wound up in the hazard and sent him scrambling. He could only manage a bogey save, which left him in a three-way tie for the lead with Mickelson and Clark, opening the door for Lefty.

“It was an amazing shot by Phil,” said Pampling. “You just knew he would get out of that.”

Mickelson called it one of the top five shots of his career.

“I got up there and I didn’t really have a chance to go low,” said Mickelson. “There were trees everywhere. But...I thought I could hit a wedge through that gap on the green, and I was hoping for a 25-30 foot putt. That was the goal to have a chance at birdie and make a par at worst.

“And it just came off perfectly,” added Mickelson who was carrying five wedges in his bag during Sunday’s final round. “I never saw it. Once it took off, I never saw the flight of the ball because it was hidden from the trees, the overhanging trees in front of me. But I kind of ran out to the fairway and saw it end up nine feet (from the hole). That was a pretty cool feeling.” 

 

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