PEBBLE BEACH, CALIFORNIA | Phil Mickelson
had no complaints about the level of his game
in the first three tournaments of the 2012 PGA
Tour season. He only found fault with what he
said was an inability to put into play the same
game he was using in practice.
Mickelson discovered the antidote at the AT&T
Pebble Beach National Pro-Am: center stage.
Finding himself in a marquee pairing with
Tiger Woods, amidst all the glory and history
Pebble Beach Golf Links brings to any tournament, Mickelson and his game flourished Sunday.
Mickelson, calling Pebble Beach “a special
place for me … a national treasure,” said the
victory validated what he’s been working on. He
shot 8-under-par 64 for a 269 total, 17 under, to
win by two strokes over Charlie Wi (72).
It was the fourth AT&T Pebble Beach title
and 40th PGA Tour victory (tied for No. 9 all-time) for Mickelson, who began the final round
six shots behind Wi and one shot behind Woods.
40 OR MORE PGA TOUR WINS
With his victory Sunday at Pebble Beach, Phil
Mickelson became the 10th player to have 40
PGA Tour wins.
1. Sam Snead
2. Jack Nicklaus
3. Tiger Woods
4. Ben Hogan
5. Arnold Palmer
With the recent history of 54-hole leaders folding, Woods and Mickelson were poised to bring
the heat. Mickelson did. Woods didn’t.
“I felt my game was so close, yet the scores
didn’t reflect it,” said Mickelson, who is 5-0
against Woods when they’ve hooked up in the
final round of a tournament.
“I’m inspired playing with (Woods) – a lot of
people are. He brings out the best in me. I love
playing with him. I just seem more focused. His
level of play forces me to focus on my game. I
hope he and I have a chance to play more final
Mickelson bettered Woods by 11 shots.
Woods shot 75 to finish tied for 15th after
starting the final round in third. He blamed the
score on poor putting, and said, “I didn’t hit it
For the third straight week on the PGA Tour,
a 54-hole leader imploded. This time it was Wi,
who took a three-shot lead into the final round
but promptly threw it away with a four-putt
double-bogey at the first hole.
Up ahead, Mickelson and Woods were on
the second green when they saw Wi’s score go
up on the leaderboard. The pursuers both had
to take a second, prolonged look to make sure
what they were seeing was the real deal. It was,
and the tournament was a free-for-all with a
dozen golfers suddenly back in the chase – at
least until Mickelson lit it up.
“Phil played really good,” Woods said. “He
was hitting the ball flush. You could hear the
sound. We had to go get Charlie, and Phil did.”