Phil Mickelson pips Justin Thomas in WGC-Mexico Championship
Last Updated: 05/03/18 8:13am
Phil Mickelson beat Justin Thomas at the first extra hole to capture the WGC-Mexico Championship title after a dramatic finale at the Chapultepec Golf Club.
A par at the par-three 17th was good enough to give Mickelson his 43rd career success - but his first since the 2013 Open - and make him the oldest winner of a WGC event at the age of 47 years and eight months.
Thomas, 24, bogeyed the extra hole after finding the back rough with his tee shot as he just failed to complete a sensational weekend comeback after shooting rounds of 62 and 64.
The American pair had finished locked together on 16-under 268 with Thomas setting the clubhouse target thanks to a show-stopping eagle-two on the final hole.
That put Thomas, playing a few groups in front of Mickelson, two shots clear at the time but Mickelson replied with back-to-back birdies at the 15th and 16th to join him.
England's Tyrrell Hatton, playing alongside Mickelson, was also 16 under as he played the 18th following a brilliant eagle at the par-five 15th, but he found the greenside rough with his second shot and two-putted for bogey.
Hatton therefore had to settle for a share of third place with Spain's Rafa Cabrera Bello, who birdied the 18th, on 15 under.
Overnight leader Shubhankar Sharma of India failed to fire on the final day as he carded a three-over 74 to finish in a tie for ninth place on 10 under.
Sharma saw his two-shot advantage disappear before he had even teed off after Cabrera Bello splashed out of a greenside bunker for an eagle-two at the first to claim an early share of the lead.
There was plenty of congestion at the top of the leaderboard throughout the day with Hatton the first man to lead outright on 14 under after he had birdied the fourth.
It was all change at the sixth as Mickelson hit the front for the first time with a birdie as Hatton posted a bogey after pulling his tee shot tight behind a tree.
Thomas, fresh from his course-record 62 on Saturday after he had struggled round in level par for the first two rounds, was making stealthy progress up ahead and he joined Mickelson on 14 under with his fifth birdie of the day at the 12th.
Mickelson nosed ahead again following an excellent approach shot which earned him a birdie at the 10th, but he quickly gave that back when he bogeyed the 11th after his second shot ricocheted into bushes.
The left-hander was now scrambling a bit as he parred the next three holes with Thomas taking the outright lead for the first time on 15 under thanks to a birdie at the 15th.
The world No 3, who won last week's Honda Classic, slipped up at the 17th with a bogey - something he was to repeat in the play-off - but he bounced back in brilliant fashion as his second shot from 118 yards at the 18th pitched four yards past the pin and spun back into the hole.
Many around the course must have thought that was the tournament-winning shot as Thomas signed for a seven-under 64, but Mickelson was not to be denied as he set up the play-off with two successive birdies and then two pars for a five-under 66.
Hatton, who overcame a frustrating couple of holes mid-round with birdies at the 12th and 14th followed by his eagle at the 15th, and Cabrera Bello both closed with 67s.
American Brian Harman, who had shared the lead on 14 under at one stage on the back nine, finished alongside Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who shot a 65, on 13 under.
World No 1 Dustin Johnson, the defending champion, never really got going in the final round and ended up on 12 under after a 69, sharing seventh place with Spain's Sergio Garcia (70).