Mick­el­son The Mas­ter Of Mex­ico

The $10,000,000 WGC Mex­ico Cham­pi­onship at the Club de Golf Cha­pul­te­pec

Golf Asia - - GOLFING TEE BOX - IM­AGE © DAVID CAN­NON/GETTY IM­AGES

Phil Mick­el­son eclipsed a mo­ment of magic from Justin Thomas to beat his com­pa­triot in a play-off at the WGC Mex­ico Cham­pi­onship and se­cure his first ti­tle since win­ning the Open in 2013, pick­ing up the US$1,700,000 win­ner's check in the process. The Amer­i­can pair fin­ished tied on 16 un­der par af­ter an en­thralling fi­nal round at Cha­pul­te­pec Golf Club. Mick­el­son saw his birdie putt lip out at the first play­off hole, the par three 17th, but when Thomas failed to get down in two from be­hind the green the 47-year-old had his first vic­tory in al­most five years.

Phil Mick­el­son said, “I can't put into words how much this means to me, it's been a long time. To come here to Mex­ico City with the fans here and play against the best play­ers in the world and fi­nally come through... I knew it was go­ing to come soon, I was play­ing too well for it not to, but you never know un­til it hap­pens. My game is start­ing to get to a level that is some of my best golf and it seems like it's just in time. It's nice to be in that small cir­cle called the win­ner's cir­cle; I haven't been in it for a while.”

Eng­land's Tyrrell Hat­ton, who missed out on ex­tra holes af­ter a bo­gey at the last, and Spain's Rafa Cabr­era Bello tied for third on 15 un­der. Cabr­era Bello had made the first move on Sun­day when he chipped in from a bunker for ea­gle at the first to catch overnight leader Shub­hankar Sharma be­fore the In­dian had even teed off.

The Spa­niard, Hat­ton and Mick­el­son all had spells in front but Thomas, who was 11 shots be­hind half­way leader Sharma on Fri­day night be­fore card­ing a blis­ter­ing 62 on Satur­day, made six birdies in his first 15 holes to edge ahead. A bo­gey on the 17th looked to have de­railed his chal­lenge, but Thomas spun his 120-yard ap­proach back into the cup at the 18th to set a daunt­ing club­house tar­get with a round of 64.

Hat­ton joined him when he fol­lowed a birdie on the 14th with an ea­gle from 11 feet on the 15th, while Mick­el­son birdied the 15th and 16th be­fore his 25-foot ef­fort on the next missed by a whisker. With both need­ing a birdie on the last, Hat­ton and Mick­el­son mis­cued their ap­proaches and the for­mer was un­able to get up and down, but the five-time Ma­jor win­ner held his nerve from five feet to seal a clos­ing 66 be­fore a par at the first play-off hole saw him be­come the old­est win­ner of a World Golf Cham­pi­onships event.

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