OWGR Week 09: Mickelson moves to World No.18
March 05, 2018
WGC – Mexico Championship
Phil Mickelson eclipsed a moment of magic from Justin Thomas to beat his compatriot in a play-off at the WGC – Mexico Championship and secure his first title since winning the Open in 2013.
The American pair finished tied on 16 under par after an enthralling final round at Chapultepec Golf Club.
Mickelson saw his birdie putt lip out at the first play-off hole – the par three 17th – but when Thomas failed to get down in two from behind the green the 47 year old had his first victory in almost five years.
“I can't put into words how much this means to me, its been a long time as you say,” said Mickelson, who had finished fifth, second and sixth in his last three tournaments coming into this week.
“To come here to 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 come soon, I was playing too well for it not to but you never know until it happens.
“My game is starting to get to a level that is some of my best golf and it seems like it's just in time. It's nice to be in that small circle called the winner's circle; I haven't been in it for a while.”
England's Tyrrell Hatton, who missed out on extra holes after a bogey at the last, and Spain's Rafa Cabrera Bello tied for third on 15 under.
Cabrera Bello had made the first move on Sunday when he chipped in from a bunker for eagle at the first to catch overnight leader Shubhankar Sharma before the Indian had even teed off.
The Spaniard, Hatton and Mickelson all had spells in front but Thomas, who was 11 shots behind halfway leader Sharma on Friday night before carding a blistering 62 on Saturday, made six birdies in his first 15 holes to edge ahead.
Sunshine and European Tour - Tshwane Open
George Coetzee’s knowledge of the Pretoria Country Club layout paid dividends as he navigated his way to a four-under 67 final round at the Tshwane Open and claim a four-stroke victory on a total of 18-under 266 on a weather-affected Sunday in Pretoria.
“Winning on my home track is amazing,” he said. “I’m really happy to have done it. I needed to kind of prove to myself after the ankle injuries that I can do it, and I am really happy to have done it.”
He opened the final round with a degree of caution, making two pars back-to-back, but was punished dearly on the third and fourth holes where he made consecutive bogeys to cut down the two-shot lead he held overnight. He then settled himself well to make his first birdie on the sixth which was followed by another a hole later.
“Yea, a couple of drops so early, I thought this is not the way I wanted to start my round,” said Coetzee, “but, I started building momentum and waited my turn and forced a birdie on six and it kind of started coming together.”
On the 11th hole, he began his onslaught, carding three straight birdies to pull clear of Korhonen. Dangerous weather conditions then forced the round to be suspended while he was playing 15th where he made another birdie.
The round was suspended once again before he could play the 16th where he made par, however, by this time he was already four shots clear of the chasing pack which included Korhonen whose dropped shots on the 15th and 17th handed Coetzee the win when it looked, at one stage, that he’d force a play-off. The bogey he made on the 17th didn’t matter much as he closed off a dominant week with a birdie to seal his second Tshwane Open victory in three years.
PGA Tour of Australasia and Asian Tour - ISPS HANDA New Zealand Open
A stunning 62 saw Queenslander Daniel Nisbet become the 99th winner of the ISPS HANDA New Zealand Open moving to a career best of World No.329.
Daniel NisbetNisbet ran down West Australian Terry Pilkadaris’ five shot overnight lead with an eagle and four straight birdies on the back-9 to finish on 27-under 258 with rounds of 63, 66, 67, 62.
Nisbet’s four round total saw him break the tournament low score, 26-under, set by the late Kel Nagle in 1964.
“We have some great family ties with Kel Nagle. One of my neighbours who recently passed was a great friend with Kel and they kept him updated with my very junior golf. It is a surreal thing to be put up against him and beat his record when there is so much extended family history with him,” said Nisbet.
“I’ve been aggressive all week so I just wanted to stay aggressive and attack the pins and I just wanted to hole a few more putts.”
Nisbet had eaten into Pilkadaris’ buffer over the first-9 holes, but it looked as if he was starting to run out of time to haul him in.
An eagle on the 460m par-5 10th hole for the second time in as many rounds helped Nisbet to a share of the lead, before a blistering four birdie finish secured him the Brodie Breeze trophy and a rousing round of applause from the crowd surrounding Millbrook Resort’s island 18th green.
The win is a deserved reward for the hard work Nisbet has been putting in with his team.
“I played really well this week; I played really well two weeks prior as well. What this leads to in the future, I don’t know,” added Nisbet.
Nordic Golf League – Lumine Lakes Open
Sebastain Soderberg knocked out with a three-stroke lead and quickly showed that he was aiming to expand it even more. After five birdies on the first nine holes he expanded the line further. He entered a total of 66 for a total of 16 under par, four strokes better than Mark Flindt Haastrup.
"When I went out this morning, I did not have much in my mind. The competition is a start to the season, so I had no expectations of my performance this week. I thought I would make many birdies early today which I managed to do. It's my third victory on the Nordic league so it's fun and now I'm very happy to take part in future competitions, says Sebastian after the award ceremony.
Pro Golf Tour - Open Madaef
Dutchman Robbie van West won the Open Madaef 2018 with rounds of 71, 74 and 70 strokes, 1 under par overall. After 54 holes on the extremely challenging Pullman El Jadida Royal Golf & Spa championship course in Morocco’s El Jadida, the 25-year old was one point ahead of the German Moritz Lampert (73, 73, 70/par) and celebrated his first win of the season.
Nordic Golf League - Lumine Hills Open
Kristian K Johnannessen won the Lumine Hills Open moving to World No. 797.