JACKSONVILLE, Fla – Phil Mickelson has won for the third time in four career starts on the PGA Tour Champions, finishing 4 under 68 on Sunday for a 2 stroke victory in the Constellation Furyk & Friends.
Mickelson, 51, won the PGA Championship on Kiawah Island for the first time since his out of nowhere triumph in May for his sixth career major title. He has wrestled on the PGA Tour since then, and it was his first Champions event since February.
Miguel Angel Jimenez fought with Mickelson throughout the day at Timuquana Country Club and tied with birdies on the 13th par-5 – where Mickelson put three for the par – and the 14th par-3. But Mickelson converted a two-putt birdie in the 15th par 5 to go forward for good.
“He played really good golf. He did a big back and forth on 13 and the stroke on 14 was really impressive. This par 3 is a hard pin – it rolls to the left of the pin, to right of the pin. He just stuck it in there and didn’t want to leave, “Mickelson said of Jimenez.” I was grateful that I was able to get two birdies and come out on top, but it was a hard day.”
Jimenez also shot a 68, nearly pulling a long birdie putt on the 18th par 4 that would have forced Mickelson to birdie from 10 feet for the win. Mickelson still managed for the margin of 2 strokes.
“Of the last nine, we’ve been there near, near, near, tie, and he [makes] a birdie on the 15th, but I was close. So luck for birdie on 17 is the game, you know? He’s playing very well, ”Jimenez said.
Mickelson finished the freshman at 15 under 201. Last year he opened his senior career with back-to-back wins in Missouri and Virginia.
Mickelson birdied the first three holes but blocked his left tee shot at the fifth par-4, leading to a double bogey.
“You do that on the regular tour, you just get eaten alive, you just can’t make those mistakes there and have a chance to compete and fight and win,” he said. “So I like that you don’t have to be perfect and I can get away with a hit or two here or there.”
Mickelson said he plans to play at least two more tournaments on the 50-plus tour this fall – in Richmond, Va., Where he is the defending champion, and at the Charles Schwab Cup championship in Phoenix.
Steve Flesch (71) was third at 10 under. Tournament host Jim Furyk (69) was part of a three-way tie for fourth place at age 9 with Cameron Beckman (68) and Ernie Els (71). Bernhard Langer finished with a 67 tied for seventh at 8 under, allowing the 64-year-old to maintain his position atop the Charles Schwab Cup standings with four events remaining in the season.