Phil Mickelson rallied from six shots behind to win for the fourth time at Pebble Beach, a final round made more impressive by the guy in a red shirt who was among the first to congratulate him Sunday on the 18th green.
Turns out that Tiger Woods was just along for the ride.
Mickelson closed with an 8-under-par 64, 11 shots lower than Woods in a showdown at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on California’s Monterey Peninsula.
“I just feel very inspired when I play with him,” said Mickelson, who has posted the better score the past five times he has played alongside Woods in the final round.
“I love playing with him, and he brings out some of my best golf.”
Woods, one shot out of the lead on the sixth hole after 54-hole leader Charlie Wi stumbled early, followed a birdie with three straight bogeys, starting with a three-putt from 18 feet on the par-3 seventh.
It never got much better from there. He finished with a three-putt on the 18th for a 75, the only consolation being his belief he’s closer than ever to putting it all together.
“I didn’t hit it as bad as the score indicated, but I putted awful,” Woods said. “As good as I felt on the greens yesterday, I felt bad today.”
Mickelson went from six shots behind to a two-shot lead on the par-5 sixth hole when he rolled in a 20-foot eagle putt, adjusting his read after watching Woods’ amateur partner — Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo — miss from a similar line.
Woods holed a bunker shot for birdie on No. 12, but right when it looked like a two-shot swing that could give Woods momentum, Mickelson made a 30-foot par putt.
He wound up with a two-shot win over Wi, who four-putted for double bogey on the opening hole and never recovered.
Mickelson, who finished at 17-under 269, became the ninth player in PGA Tour history with 40 career wins.
U.S. TEEN WINS
American teenager Jessica Korda won the Women’s Australian Open for her first LPGA Tour title, holing a 25-foot birdie putt on the second hole of a six-player playoff.
The 18-year-old Korda completed a two-sport, father-daughter Australian double with the breakthrough victory. Petr Korda won the 1998 Australian Open tennis tournament.
“It is a really special place for my family,” Korda said. “For my first win, I honestly could not have thought of a better place.”
What did her father say when they spoke by phone after the victory?
“That he was, ‘So proud of me and we’ll talk about the three-putts after,’” she said.
Corey Pavin made a 12-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to defeat Peter Senior and win the Allianz Championship in Boca Raton, Fla. It was his first Champions Tour title.
Both players shot 1-under 71 iin the final round to finish tied at 11-under 205.
Spain’s Rafael Cabrera-Bello won the Dubai Desert Classic, shooting a 4-under 68 to beat Lee Westwood and Stephen Gallacher by a shot.
After Westwood made a 35-foot eagle putt on the second hole to go up by two, he struggled with his putting the rest of the way.