Facebook Twitter

MICKELSON REGROUPS TO WIN WORLD SERIES OF GOLF BY 3

SHARE MICKELSON REGROUPS TO WIN WORLD SERIES OF GOLF BY 3

Phil Mickelson had trouble sleeping Saturday night, a three-stroke lead in the World Series of Golf heavy on his mind.

"I kept thinking about all the things that playing well today could mean and I tried to get those thoughts out of my mind," Mickelson said.Even without a perfect night's sleep, Mickelson was still able to overcome a rocky stretch on the back side with birdies at the 16th and 17th holes to capture his fourth victory of the year by three strokes.

The win was worth a lot: the inside track to player of the year honors, the No. 1 spot in the tour money race, a 10-year exemption and a victory on a major-championship style course.

"This one had a lot of meaning," Mickelson said of his ninth career tour victory.

It came just two weeks after he had not handled adversity well, self-destructing with a third-round 74 to blow a two-stroke lead at the PGA Championship. This time he didn't wilt down the stretch.

"It's important for a player's confidence to close the deal," Mickelson said. "Having a three-shot lead, it was a tournament I had to play poorly to give it away. I had to come back to the field."

He made it exciting with bogeys at the 12th and 13th holes, but escaped further damage with superlative pars at 11 and 14. He punched onto the green from the deep right rough at 11 and blasted out of a greenside bunker to 18 inches at 14.

By that time, however, his three-stroke lead to start the day had evaporated.

The roller-coaster ride left him tied with Duffy Waldorf, who was piling up six birdies in a round of four-under 66, and Billy Mayfair.

At the 625-yard "monster" 16th hole, Mickelson lofted a wedge over the pin and spun it back more than 20 feet. It came to rest two feet from the pin and Mickelson tapped it in to go ahead of Mayfair, who missed a 20-foot birdie putt.

Waldorf, whose 66 matched Alexander Cejka for the day's low round, saw his threat come up short when he hit a poor chip shot.

Mickelson clinched the $378,000 first-place check by rolling in a 6-foot birdie putt at 17. The 26-year-old left-hander's closing round of par 70 left him at 6-under 274.

Mayfair birdied No. 2 and played cautiously while racking up 15 straight pars, but then bogeyed 17. His closing 70 left him at 277 tying him with Waldorf and Steve Stricker.