Phil Mickelson Wins the CA Championship in Doral Florida
The last round, today Sunday March 15, 2009 started with a question. With Phil Mickelson and Nick Watney tied for the lead coming into the round and each having one once this season already, as well as with some folks following right on their heels, anything was possible.
Mickelson is one of golf's all-time greats. Watney is a fast-rising star. Which Butch Harmon pupil will prevail?
Phil Mickelson put his own kind of madness into March - PGA Tour style - Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, but still managed to win the CA Championship on the Blue Monster at Doral Resort & Spa.
There was the heat exhaustion and dehydration after Saturday's third round that sent Mickelson to an urgent-care center.
Phil Mickelson was still weak Sunday morning and curtailed his practice session before the final round of the CA Championship. He spent roughly 10 minutes on the practice green before heading to the range about 35 minutes before his scheduled 2:45 p.m. tee time. Mickelson's normal pre-round routine would have been at least an hour. The world's No. 3 player spent about two hours in an urgent care facility being treated for heat exhaustion on Saturday night. Mickelson, who received two bags of IV fluid, also had been battling some gastrointestinal issues earlier in the week and hasn’t eaten a real meal since Thursday. -
When Phil had to be taken to the hospital the night before the final round that might have changed the outcome.
The lead has changed hands seven times today between Phil Mickelson and Nick Watney, but Mickelson is taking a one-shot lead to the final hole. Mickelson has parred the difficult finishing hole each of the last two days after a birdie on 18 on Thursday. Watney, meanwhile, has parred it all three days. -- Brian Wacker
But it didn't.
And then there was the golf itself during Sunday's final round when the left-handed Mickelson was forced to hit a right-handed shot at one point.
Mickelson nevertheless pulled off a closing three-under-par 69 for a 19-under-par 269 total and a one-shot victory ahead of playing partner Nick Watney (70-270). Jim Furyk was third at 67-272.
: It came down to the hardest hole on the golf course and when it mattered the most Phil Mickelson hit his cut approach shot right at the flag. The ball released to the back of the green, but a simple up-and-down was all he needed to secure his first World Golf Championships title.
Nick Watney gave Mickelson a scare, nearly jarring his long putt from just off the back for birdie. Instead, it stopped agonizingly short, less than an inch from the cup. Mickelson burned the cup as well, but he didn’t need to make it, just get it close.
The one-stroke victory over Watney moved Mickelson to second in the FedExCup standings and, when the rankings are released Monday, the closest he’s ever been to the No. 1 spot in the world. -- Brian Wacker
With Phil Mickelson and Nick Watney battling each other shot for shot down the stretch here, Jim Furyk is trying to apply a little back-door pressure by mimicking what he did in 2000, when he came from six back with seven to play with a back-nine 30 in the final round to beat Franklin Langham.
"Beware of the ailing golfer," said Mickelson, who stayed in bed until 1:30 p.m. for a 2:45 p.m. tee time. "I was shaking for an hour (Saturday night). I had the cold sweats. I took a hot shower and that didn't do it. A hot bath. I almost burned myself trying to get warmed up."