Tue, Feb 14, 2012 - Page 19 News List

Mickelson outplays Woods to win Pebble Beach title

Reuters, LOS ANGELES

Phil Mickelson totally upstaged playing partner Tiger Woods while charging past overnight leader Charlie Wi to win the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in spectacular fashion by two shots on Sunday.

Six strokes behind South Korean Wi going into the final round at Pebble Beach Golf Links, Mickelson fired a flawless eight-under par-64 to clinch his 40th victory on the PGA Tour.

The US left-hander took control of the tournament with a stunning outward nine of five-under 31 and holed two monster par putts after the turn on the way to a 17-under total of 269.

“It feels awesome,” a beaming Mickelson told the Golf Channel. “Hopefully it’s just one of a few this year because I am starting to feel pretty good.”

While Mickelson won the pro-am celebrity event for a fourth time, Woods had to settle for joint 15th place after closing with a five-bogey 75 in his bid for a first PGA Tour win in more than two years.

Wi, hunting a maiden title on the US circuit, dropped four shots in the first six holes, but recovered well, a birdie-birdie-birdie finish giving him a 72 and outright second place at 15 under.

Woods had been poised for a last-day charge after shooting a 67 on Saturday, but missed several putts from inside six feet to tumble out of contention at the same venue where he won the 2000 US Open by a record 15 shots.

“I didn’t hit it as bad as the score indicated, but I putted awful,” the former world No. 1 said. “As good as I felt on the greens yesterday was as bad as I felt bad today.”

“I just could not see my lines, I couldn’t get comfortable, I couldn’t get the blade to swing. Anything that I tried to do wasn’t working and consequently I made a ton of mistakes on the greens,” he said.

Mickelson, who had previously won the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in 1998, 2005 and 2007, took full advantage of a poor front nine by the pacesetting Wi.

Three strokes ahead of the chasing pack overnight, the South Korean made the worst possible start with a four-putt double-bogey on the opening hole.

He also stumbled with a bogey at the tricky par-three fifth after missing the green to the left off the tee, to drop back into a tie for the lead at 12 under.

Mickelson had charged to the top with birdies at the second, fourth and fifth, where he struck a superb mid-iron to just one foot.

He then rammed in a 21-footer to eagle the par-five sixth and vault two strokes clear with Woods, Kevin Streelman and Kevin Na tied for second place.

Out in 31, Mickelson did well to save par at the short 12th, where he rolled in a 30-footer and Woods holed out from a greenside bunker for birdie.

With huge galleries following the two biggest names in US golf, Mickelson conjured an exquisite bouncing approach to just two feet at the par-four 13th, knocking in the birdie putt to regain a two-shot cushion.

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