Sunday, February 17, 2008

Lefty Seeing 3's!

Coming into this week, Phil Mickelson had won 32 tournaments in his PGA Tour career. At 11-under par, "Lefty" carried a one stroke lead over Jeff Quinney going into Sunday's final round of the Northern Trust Open at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades.

The match-play like battle between "Lefty" and Quinney was remarkably similar to Saturday's duel. Mickelson entered Saturday's round with a four stroke lead, only to briefly lose the lead to Quinney within six holes, regaining it and then carrying the lead a short time later. On Sunday, Mickelson extended his lead to three strokes by the third hole as he birdied the first and Quinney bogeyed the third. Quinney came storming back though as birdies on six and eight got him to within a stroke of the lead. Mickelson bogeyed the ninth hole, while Quinney rolled in another birdie to take the lead at 12-under par. Just like on Saturday though, Quinney's lead was short-lived. "Lefty" birdied the 10th hole to tie for the lead. Both players birdied the 11th to get to 13-under par. On the 13th hole, Quinney's magical putter finally deserted him as he three-putted for the first time all year for a bogey. Bogeys followed at the next two holes and on the 17th. Mickelson gave one back himself on the 15th, but with Quinney's misstep on 17, it was all but over entering 18. Quinney did manage to birdie that hole, while Mickelson parred to finish the tournament at 12-under par and a two stroke win. For Mickelson, it was his 33rd career victory on the PGA Tour. Will Phil mount another charge at Tiger Woods this year for the #1 spot in the World Rankings? With a win, a second and a sixth place finish already on his 2008 resume, perhaps the answer is YES!


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