Mickelson wins Phoenix Open by four shots

Sun Feb 3, 2013 6:36pm EST
 
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(Reuters) - Phil Mickelson held off a last-day charge by fellow American and playing partner Brandt Snedeker to end a week of scintillating golf with a four-shot triumph at the Phoenix Open in Scottsdale, Arizona on Sunday.

Left-hander Mickelson birdied three of the last six holes to close with a four-under-par 67 at the TPC Scottsdale, completing a wire-to-wire victory with a record-tying 28-under total of 256 to clinch his 41st PGA Tour title.

The 42-year-old Californian, who never relinquished his grip after taking control of the tournament with a stunning first-round 60, joined Arnold Palmer, Gene Littler and Mark Calcavecchia as triple winners of the Phoenix Open.

Mickelson sank a 14-footer at the 17th for his fifth birdie of the day, then safely two-putted for par at the last before removing his cap and giving a thumbs-up to the fans crammed around the 18th green.

"It's tough," a beaming Mickelson told Golf Channel after sealing his first win on the PGA Tour since the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am 12 almost a year ago.

"I played really good golf and I had to really fight off a charging Brandt Snedeker, who played great. It's a hard thing to do, to win on the PGA Tour and I'm very appreciative and fortunate."

FedExCup champion Snedeker, who birdied four of the first nine holes to pile early pressure on the pacesetting Mickelson, had to settle for second place after signing off with a 65.

Another American, Scott Piercy, was alone in third at 23 under after shooting the second-best score of the tournament, five birdies in his last six holes giving him a sizzling 61.

REIGNED SUPREME   Continued...

 
U.S. golfer Phil Mickelson hits off the 11th tee of the north course at Torrey Pines during first round play at the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego, California January 24, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake