Mickelson outlasts Thomas at WGC Mexico
Phil Mickelson managed to grab his first PGA Tour win in nearly 5 years last weekend. He outlasted Justin Thomas on the first playoff hole to win out the WGC Mexico Championship after an extraordinary climax to the event. Mickelson parred the first extra hole to become, at the age of 47, the oldest winner of a World Golf Championship event and secure the 43rd title of his career. Thomas failed to get up and down from the back of the 17th green, the same hole he had three-putted in regulation to kick-start a remarkable sequence of events. Thomas, who had won the Honda Classic 8 days earlier in a playoff, managed an eagle two on the 18th to set the clubhouse target at -16. Mickelson didn’t panic and with birdies on the 15th and 16th, the two were set for a playoff. Mickelson and Thomas headed back to the par-three 17th for sudden death and after Mickelson’s birdie attempt had agonizingly grazed the edge of the hole, Thomas missed from 10 feet for par.
“I can’t put into words how much this means to me,” Mickelson, who had finished fifth, second and sixth in his previous three starts, told Sky Sports.”It’s been a long time and to come through here in Mexico City, with the fans here and to play against the best players in the world and finally come through… I knew it was going to be soon, I was playing too well for it not to be, but you just never know until it happens.”
A surprise 54 hole leader for the tournament was 21 year old Indian sensation Shubhankar Sharma. It was his first tour outing and despite being mistaken for a member of the media by Phil Mickelson, it is surely an event he will remember. With a two shot lead heading into the final round, Sharma eventually finished in a very respectable T9. Tyrrell Hatton was very unlucky not to make the playoff with Thomas and Mickelson, he failed to get up and down on the final hole in which he carded just his 5th bogey of the whole tournament. Hattons form has been excellent over the past few months and last weekend was no different. Tommy Fleetwood broke into the worlds top 10 after a solid outing which left him in tie for 14th position. His 23 birdies led the field and breaking the top 10 is no more than he deserves. Fleetwood broke onto the elite level at last years event, coming 2nd to Dustin Johnson. He has become one of the best in the game now and will be looking to add a major to his lists of accomplishments in 2018.
Valspar Championship 2018
The main story going into the weekend is the announcement that Tiger Woods is set to play. The commitment to Valspar is unique, as it will be his tournament debut. After a more than promising outing at The Honda Classic, Woods feels his body is in position for another back-to-back leading into the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Rory McIlroy is another big name set to tee off this weekend, with the Irishman announcing in December he would be playing in the event for the first time as well.