Phil Mickelson beat Justin Thomas to win the WGC-Mexico Championship, his first win since the 2013 Open Championship. The close to the tournament was filled with dramatics. Justin Thomas fired weekend rounds of 62-64 and holed out a wedge on the 18th for eagle to post 16-under. Thomas' eagle forced Mickelson to birdie two of the final four holes to force the playoff. Tyrell Hatton bogeyed the 18th to fall out of the playoff and into a tie for third with Rafa Cabrera-Bello. Full scores
After three consecutive top-six finishes, Phil Mickelson kicked the door down and captured his first win in nearly five years. Lefty is playing the best golf since his Open Championship win in 2013 and rises as a favorite for Augusta in five weeks.
Beyond his strong play, Mickelson delivered some pure Phil moments this week. They included explaining his autograph policy to fans in spanish, asking Tyrrell Hatton how to pronounce his name on the first tee, thinking that 21-year-old Indian phenom Sharma Subhanker was a member of the media and telling the media that he will undoubtedly get to 50 wins in his career.
Close but no cigar
Justin Thomas' hole out on the 72nd hole was one of the greatest golf shots I have ever seen and will likely go down as the shot of the year. Thomas entered the weekend struggling with his swing and at even par for the tournament. He responded by setting the course record with a 62 Saturday and a 64 on Sunday to fall just short of his second win in a row. As mentioned in last week's newsletter, Thomas is playing like the best player in the world and is the favorite week-in and week-out until he cools down.
Bone thugz and sharmony
The story of the tournament going into Sunday was the 21-year-old Shubhankar Sharma. The solo leader and India native was playing his first-ever PGA Tour and WGC event byway of leading the European Tour Order of Merit. Shubhanker struggled on Sunday shooting a final-round 74 to settle for a t9th, but he certainly made a splash for his first event on the big stage.
A call for shorter courses?
My disdain for the Club de Golf Chapultepec is well documented. I do appreciate the global aspect of the event, and I love the short yardage the course plays to. The course's yardage creates a plethora of drivable par 4's and holes that force a decision between go for it or lay up. It would be great to see a similar setup that wasn't choked by trees. A wider course with more interesting green surrounds and a similar yardage would be fascinating. Players could go for greens but risk the potential of finding a bad spot or layup and play to an edge of a fairway to setup an ideal angle.
Adapt & Survive: the reality of municipal golf
Lake Bluff Golf Club, the municipal course where I learned the game of golf, is contemplating closing. I wrote about the reality of the situation and what it needs to do to be a successful golf course.
In South Africa
South African native George Coetzee shot a final-round 67 to top Sam Horsfield by two shots at the Tshwane Open. Coetzee used a little local knowledge at his home course to capture his second title at the event and his fourth on the European Tour. Full scores
Michelle Wie sunk a 36-foot putt on the 72nd hole to top Jenny Shin, Brooke Henderson, Danielle Kang and Nelly Korda at the HSBC Women's World Championship. The win was the 28-year-old Wie's first since the 2014 U.S. Open and just the fifth of her career. Full scores
Campus Update with Will Knights
It is officially spring break season, and that means nearly all of the country’s top teams are in action. There are multiple tournaments throughout the week so be sure to stay up to date with the newsletter. We also have a February recap on the month in college golf up on the site.
So far, Kansas has already notched a win with an impressive performance at the Desert Mountain Intercollegiate. The Jayhawks surged to a commanding lead after the second round and went on to win by 21 shots over Purdue and Michigan. Kansas placed 5 players in the top 13. Dalton Hankamer of San Diego and Michigan’s duo of Kyle Mueller and Charlie Pilon all tied for medalist honors. It is already Mueller’s second medalist performance of the spring season.
The Southern Highlands Collegiate and the Querencia Cabo Collegiate are also occurring this week. Over half of the top 50 teams in the nation are participating in one of these events.
Steve Stricker won for the first time on the PGA Tour Champions at the Cologuard Classic.