Mickelson ends victory drought

05 March 2018 04:42:38 EST

Phil Mickelson claimed his first win since the 2013 Open Championship after beating fellow American Justin Thomas in a play-off at the WGC-Mexico Championship.

On a dramatic final day, Thomas looked to have struck the decisive blow when holing his approach at the last for a stunning eagle.

But with a closing five-under-par 66, Mickelson matched that clubhouse score of 16-under 268 and a par at the first extra hole, the par-three 17th, proved enough as Thomas failed to get up and down after missing the green.

England's Tyrrell Hatton also had a chance to be involved in the play-off after hitting 16-under himself with a birdie-eagle burst on 14 and 15 but he bogeyed the final hole.

Hatton finished tied third with Spain's Rafa Cabrera Bello, while Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat shared fifth spot with American left-hander Brian Harman.

Mickelson has been in excellent form this season with a run of three top-six finishes, including second place at Pebble Beach, ahead of the showdown in Mexico.

After ending his five-year wait for a victory and claiming the 43rd win of his PGA Tour career, a delighted Mickelson said: "I can't put into words how much this means to me. It's been a long time.

"To come through here in Mexico City with the fans here and play against the best players in the world and finally come through. I knew it was going to be soon, I've been playing too well for it not to be, but you just never know until it happens.

"To be able to share this with my family, my brother (caddie Tim) and everybody, it means a lot, especially knowing all the tough times we've had.

"I needed to get a win before Augusta so I wasn't trying to win for the first time in four-and-a-half, five years at that event (the US Masters). This certainly boosts my confidence and gives me a lot of encouragement on the things I've been working on."
 
Mickelson is 18/1 to win the US Masters, with Dustin Johnson 11/1, Jordan Spieth 10/1, Rory McIlroy 9/1, Thomas 10/1 and Jason Day 18/1.

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