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Mickelson Wraps Up Phoenix Open in Record-Tying Fashion
Though he posted his highest round of the tournament - a 4-under 67 - Phil Mickelson had no problem in completing a wire-to-wire victory in the $6.2 million Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Off earlier rounds of a tournament-record-tying 11-under 60 followed by a 65 and 64, the 42-year-old finished at 28-under 256 at TPC Scottsdale to edge Brandt Snedeker by four strokes and earn $1.098 million.
Mickelson began the final round with a six-stroke cushion over Snedeker, who closed with a 65. Despite his huge advantage entering Sunday, Mickelson knew he had to keep his focus throughout the final round.
"I played really good golf and had to hold off a hard-charging Brandt Snedeker," Mickelson said at greenside. "It's really hard to win on the PGA Tour."
After a bogey on the second hole - only his third dropped shot in 72 holes - Mickelson played steadily the rest of the way, carding five birdies on the par-71 layout. His 28-under total tied Mark Calcavecchia for the event's all-time scoring record; Calcavecchia set the original mark in 2001.
The victory, his first since the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am a year ago, was the 41st of Mickelson's career. He now is ninth on the Tour's all-time win list, halfway to Sam Snead's leading total of 82.
It was also his third win in the event; his previous victories came in 1996 and 2008. He's now tied with Calcavecchia, Gene Littler and Arnold Palmer for the most wins in Phoenix.
This latest Phoenix title is special to Mickelson, who attended Arizona State University in nearby Tempe. On Saturday evening, he said, "A win would be an important thing because it's meant so much to me over my career having won this tournament, coming back as a past champion and winning here in this town that has meant so much to me, to (wife Amy) and I . . ."
Mickelson missed matching or breaking the Tour's all-time 72-hole scoring record of 254 set by Tommy Armour III in the 2003 Valero Texas Open. He would have needed a 64 on Sunday to break that mark.
Despite his runner-up finish, Snedeker was pleased with his performance - his second top-five result in three tournaments this young season. "It was a ton of fun," Snedeker told PGATour.com. "To be in the last group with Phil and kind of trade birdie for birdie and make up some ground was a lot of fun.
"It's what we play for . . . I wish I could have put some more pressure on him and got a little closer than I did today, but I think I shot 12-under par on the weekend and made one bogey. Sometimes you have to tip your hat and say Phil played unbelievable and deserved to win, and that's kind of what this week was all about."
Scott Piercy fired Sunday's low round, a 10-under 61, to take solo third at 261. Ryan Moore (65) was in fourth another stroke back, while Ryan Palmer (62) took fifth at 265.
Bill Haas (67), Brendon de Jonge (66) and Brendan Steele (66) shared sixth at 266. Matt Every (66) and Padraig Harrington (70) ended up tied for ninth at 17-under 267.
For all the scores, visit http://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html.
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