Mexico City, Mexico (March 5, 2018) — The drought is over as Phil Mickelson closed a 5-under 66 and won an eventual playoff against Justin Thomas Sunday to win the 2018 WGC-Mexico Championship. This was Phil’s first win since the 2013 Open Championship – a stretch of 101 tournaments.
Phil’s victory was met with loud cheers, and he was just excited as the fans in attendance. “I can’t put into words how much this means to me,” he 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.” One thing is for certain: there was never a loss of confidence for Phil.
Phil was at odds after Justin Thomas’ shot to the 18th from 119 yards out. Thomas’ ball fell in front of the pin and spun into the hole for an eagle and a 64, but Phil would respond. Lefty answered with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 15th and 20-foot birdie on the 16th, tying Thomas.
Tyrell Hatton was in the final group with Mickelson, but missed a par putt for a 67 and fell out of a playoff. The sudden-death playoff would come down to Mickelson and Thomas: two players separated by 23 years of age. Thomas went long with a gap wedge to the par-3 17th and chipped to 10 feet short of the hole. Mickelson hit the green, narrowly missed the birdie putt and walked off a winner — finally — when Thomas missed his putt.
Mickelson, now with 43 victories on the PGA TOUR and 46 around the world, made good on his pledge earlier this year that more victories were in store for him. He has four consecutive top 10s for the first time since 2005. That also was the last time he had won in a playoff.
This was Mickelson’s 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. He also moved to No. 4 in Ryder Cup points. The Ryder Cup is important to Phil as one of his goals is to be on the team for the 12th consecutive time. The focus also remains on the Masters and earning a fourth green jacket.
“I don’t think this is the peak,” Phil said. “I think I’m going to continue to get better.”