Magical Mickelson

Sun 08 Nov 2009

Magical Mickelson

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Shanghai, November 8: Phil Mickelson claimed a thrilling one-stroke victory at the WGC-HSBC Champions after a day of drama at the Sheshan International Golf Club on Sunday.
The American world number two, winner here in 2007, shot a three-under-par 69 to triumph over South African Ernie Els, who charged into contention with a course record 63 but saw his title hopes sink when he found water on the 18th hole in the star-studded US$7 million event.
Little-known Ryan Moore of the United States settled for third place with a 68, followed by talented Irishman Rory McIlroy, who also fired a stunning 63. World number one Tiger Woods came in tied sixth after a frustrating 72 in Asia’s first World Golf Championships event.
Asia’s top finisher was Japan’s Daisuke Maruyama, who was the first player to establish a new course mark earlier in the day, as he finished tied 10th, seven shots behind Mickelson.
“It feels terrific to have won this tournament. This has been a very special event to have a World Golf Championships here in China, and to be the champion feels great. This is my last event of the year. I won't play again until the end of January, and so to finish the year with this victory feels wonderful,” said Mickelson, whose winning total of 17-under-par 271 was worth US$1.2 million.
Holding an overnight two-shot lead, Mickelson battled gamely against Els and Moore to lead at the turn after a 36 which included two birdies and two bogeys. After being overhauled by a resurgent Els, Mickelson hit three more birdies coming home to eventually prevail but the left-hander said a huge par putt safe from 15 feet on the 16th hole was decisive in delivering his fourth victory of the year and 42nd career worldwide title.“Ernie played one of the greatest rounds, shot a course record, along with Rory and I was very fortunate to come out on top. This feels terrific, because I had to fight very hard. Nothing came easy. I didn't hit it great. The putts weren't falling, and yet, I hung in there, too, and was able to win by one.

“The putt (on 16) was the critical moment for me. It was not an easy putt. It broke quite a bit and I had to feed it in from the side, and it was the best putt I made all week,” said Mickelson.
Els charged up the leaderboard in majestic style and led by one playing the final hole, a par five. But he agonisingly pushed his five wood approach shot into the water guarding the green which allowed Mickelson the luxury of needing only a par on 18 to win.
“I had 218 yards to the front of the green. But I was on a severe downslope, and I was in between clubs, thinking I couldn't carry a four iron to the front, because I can hit my 4 iron to about 215,” said Els, whose card included eight birdies and one eagle.
“I tried to take a five wood, aim left and hit a big cut. But because of the downhill, I kind of stood back on my swing, and I hit the ground first, basically duffed it. For me to come back all of the way, to actually share the lead at that point, was quite nice. I'm disappointed about that, but I'm going to really think about the 63 I shot. I can't complain,” he added.
Woods never got out of first gear in his attempt to win a first HSBC Champions title following second place finishes in 2005 and 2006. He double bogeyed the fourth hole when he found water from off the tee and although he rallied briefly with three straight birdies around the turn, he never got close enough to playing partner Mickelson.
“Anything that could go wrong went wrong for me. I got off to a bad start and buried the ball in a tee shot there on seven. I hit a drive down the middle of the fairway on 10 and ended up in someone's ball mark. Just one of those days,” said Woods.
Maruyama, an Asian Tour member, was the first set a new course mark on Sunday thanks to eight birdies and a glorious eagle at the last hole where he hit a five wood to within three feet of the pin.
“Being the first match out in the morning, the greens were beautiful and I just holed everything,” said Maruyama, who won this year’s Panasonic Open on the Asian Tour. “I eagled the last hole with a nice shot and it was a perfect finish to a great round. This is my first WGC appearance, so I’m happy with a top-10 finish.”
Leading final round scores
271 - Phil Mickelson (USA) 69-66-67-69
272 - Ernie Els (RSA) 70-71-68-63
273 - Ryan Moore (USA) 66-69-70-68
274 - Rory McIlroy (NIR) 73-68-70-63
275 - Nick Watney (USA) 64-70-70-71
276 - Tiger Woods (USA) 67-67-70-72, Martin Kaymer (GER) 66-74-69-67
277 - Lee Westwood (ENG) 70-71-65-71, Alvaro Quiros (ESP) 69-66-76-66
278 - Anthony Kim (USA) 67-69-72-70, Francesco Molinari (ITA) 73-67-70-68, Retief Goosen (RSA) 71-71-68-68, Geoff Ogilvy (AUS) 72-74-65-67, Pat Perez (USA) 68-69-75-66, Soren Kjeldsen (DEN) 69-72-71-66, Daisuke Maruyama (JPN) 72-69-74-63
279 - Ryo Ishikawa (JPN) 72-67-70-70, Koumei Oda (JPN) 70-69-72-68
280 - Jyoti Randhawa (IND) 68-70-70-72, Thongchai Jaidee (THA) 71-69-70-70, Matt Kuchar (USA) 68-72-72-68, Alexander Noren (SWE) 70-71-71-68
For further information, please contact Asian Tour’s Chuah Choo Chiang at the media centre tel: +86 21 57799291.
World Golf Championships/International Federation of PGA Tours
The International Federation of PGA Tours was formed in 1996 by golf’s five world governing bodies – the European Tour, Japan Golf Tour Organization, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and Sunshine Tour (South Africa) with the purpose of providing a forum for the world’s professional golf organizations to discuss issues of mutual importance and, together, develop and promote the game of golf on a global basis. The Asian Tour joined the Federation in November 1999. As part of its mission, the Federation initiated the World Golf Championships in 1999. The Federation was expanded in June 2009 and now includes the Asian Tour, European Tour, Japan Golf Tour, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia, Sunshine Tour, China Golf Association, Korea Professional Golf Tour Corp., Professional Golf Tour of India, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour, Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour, Japan LPGA, Korean LPGA and the Ladies Asian Golf Tour. 
HSBC Bank (China) Company Limited
As one of the first foreign banks locally incorporated in China, HSBC Bank (China) Company Limited started operations on 2 April 2007. It is solely owned by parent The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, which is headquartered in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and a founding member of the HSBC Group. HSBC China incorporated the previous mainland China offices of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited.
HSBC China’s network currently comprises 83 outlets, including 19 branches (in Beijing, Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Dalian, Dongguan, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Qingdao, Shanghai, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Suzhou, Tianjin, Wuhan, Xiamen, Xi’an and Zhengzhou) and 64 sub-branches. HSBC China has obtained regulatory approval to set up branch in Jinan. HSBC China’s headquarters are based in Pudong, Shanghai.
The HSBC Group
HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of the HSBC Group, is headquartered in London. The Group serves customers worldwide from around 9,500 offices in 86 countries and territories in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa. With assets of US$2,527 billion at 31 December 2008, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations. HSBC is marketed worldwide as ‘the world’s local bank’.
About IMG Sports & Entertainment
Operating in 30 countries, IMG Sports & Entertainment’s diverse businesses include: consulting services; event ownership and management; fashion events and models representation; licensing; golf course design; and client representation in golf, tennis, broadcasting, speakers, European football, rugby, cricket, motor sports, coaching, Olympic and action sports. IMG Academies are the world's largest, multi-sport training and educational facilities, delivering world-class training experiences to more than 12,000 junior, collegiate, adult, and professional athletes each year.
About the Asian Tour
As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia.  This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include ESPN Star Sports (Official Regional TV Broadcaster), Pin High (Official Apparel Partner), Ricoh (Official Office Solutions Provider) and Srixon (Official Ball). Sentosa, Singapore’s premier island resort getaway, is the Home of the Asian Tour.