Mickelson wins Houston Open

2011-04-04 06:50
Phil Mickelson (Gallo)

Texas - American Phil Mickelson signalled he was ready to defend his US Masters title by snapping a year-long victory drought with a three-shot win at the Houston Open on Sunday.

Mickelson shot a sizzling seven-under-par 65 in the final round at the Redstone Golf Club to pull away from compatriots Scott Verplank and Chris Kirk over the back nine and finish with a tournament-record winning total of 20-under-par 268.

For Mickelson, who put himself into contention Saturday when he equalled the course record with a nine-under 63, the victory marked his 39th PGA Tour title.

The left-hander now heads to Augusta, the season's first major, riding the momentum of his first victory since winning at the Masters in 2010 but insists that does not necessarily make him the favourite.

"I don't know (if I am favourite), that's not for me to say," Mickelson told reporters. "I'm just trying to get my game ready and it's just not the physical ball striking, short game, putting and so forth."

Verplank, who started the day as joint-leader alongside Mickelson, had been working on a flawless round going six under through 13 to grab the lead but stumbled at the finish with bogeys at 14 and 16 to return a four-under-par 68.

Kirk closed with a five-under 67 to join Verplank in second on 17-under-par 271.

Australian Aaron Baddeley (71) and American Steve Stricker (69) finished seven shots off the pace in a tie for fourth at 13-under-par 275.

Mickelson got his day off two a rollercoaster start with two bogeys sandwiched between birdies at the first and fourth.

But the three-times Masters champion was quickly back in the groove dropping a birdie at the seventh then reeling off five straight from the ninth.

Verplank's first bogey of the day at 14 allowed Mickelson to grab a lead he would not relinquish, opening up a three-shot cushion when he birdied 16 while his playing partner absorbed another bogey.

While the victory is sure to provide Mickelson with a boost of confidence heading to Augusta National for the April 7-10 tournament, only four times has a player won the event prior to the Masters and gone on to capture the green jacket.

One of those players was Mickelson, who followed a victory in Atlanta in 2006 with a Masters title.

"I've got to maintain my focus throughout the round. There were two points out there today on eight and 15, where I three putted, that I just lost focus," said Mickelson.

"I've got to keep that for every shot because next week at Augusta that golf course can be very penalising."


268 - Phil Mickelson 70-70-63-65

271 - Chris Kirk 66-69-69-67, Scott Verplank 73-65-65-68

275 - Steve Stricker 67-72-67-69, Aaron Baddeley (AUS) 73-65-66-71

276 - Robert Allenby (AUS) 68-72-67-69, David Hearn (CAN) 69-70-66-71

277 - Greg Chalmers (AUS) 70-73-66-68, Matt Kuchar 72-70-67-68, Brandt Jobe 69-72-68-68, Padraig Harrington (IRL) 68-69-70-70, Hunter Mahan 70-71-66-70

278 - Chad Campbell 71-70-71-66, Gary Woodland 71-70-69-68, Anthony Kim 72-64-69-73

279 - Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 72-69-70-68

280 - Nick O'Hern (AUS) 65-74-72-69

281 - John Senden (AUS) 72-69-70-70

282 - Lee Westwood (GBR) 68-72-74-68, Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 74-67-71-70, Nathan Green (AUS) 67-73-69-73

283 - Alex Cejka (GER) 71-70-69-73

285 - Brian Davis (GBR) 71-72-67-75

286 - Charlie Wi (KOR) 74-70-71-71, Steve Elkington (AUS) 68-71-73-74, Ernie Els (RSA) 71-72-69-74, Ross Fisher (GBR) 71-70-69-76

288 - Retief Goosen (RSA) 70-74-71-73

289 - Marc Leishman (AUS) 69-75-71-74, Andres Romero (ARG) 73-70-70-76

291 - Francesco Molinari (ITA) 69-71-74-77

295 - Fabian Gomez (ARG) 71-72-73-79

Read more on:    phil mickelson

WGC Match Play to move

2015-03-03 20:53


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs

Which is your favourite event on the golfing calendar?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.