Mickelson Enjoys Play-Off Triumph at Hsbc Champions

Sun 11 Nov 2007

Mickelson Enjoys Play-Off Triumph at Hsbc Champions

Shanghai, November 11: American star Phil Mickelson lifted the HSBC Champions title after beating English duo of Ross Fisher and Lee Westwood at the second hole of a sudden-death play-off on Sunday.

The three-time Major winner sealed his victory with a birdie at the par five 18th at the Sheshan International Golf Club. Westwood was forced to settle for the runner-up spot after finding water twice while Fisher missed a 10 foot birdie attempt. All three players had previously parred the first extra hole on the 18th.

It was Mickelson?s first professional triumph in Asia and his first overseas win in 14 years as he collected the top prize of US$833,300 for his winning efforts in the US$5 million event co-sanctioned by the The Asian Tour, European Tour, the PGA Tour of Australasia, the Sunshine (Southern Africa) Tour, and the China Golf Association.


?This was a very funny day. I cannot believe I'm here as the champion right now. It was one of the more unusual back nines that I have ever been a part of,? said Mickelson, who signed off his week with an uncharacteristic final round four-over-par 76.

But the action started in regulation play when Fisher, who led by two with one hole to play, found the water for a double bogey on the 18th hole en route to a 74. Mickelson bogeyed the 18th hole while Westwood, who charged into contention with a 67, parred as the leading trio tied at 10-under-par 278.

?I don't know what to say. I can't believe that I'm here as the champion. I was leading by a lot, and looked like I had control, and had six penalty shots today and ended up two back with three to go and now got in a playoff. I don't know how the day finished like this, but I am certainly excited to be the HSBC Champion, and I guess it really doesn't matter how,? said the American winner, who held an overnight two-stroke cushion.


In the second play-off hole, Mickelson struck an accurate chip which left the ball four feet away for the win. Fisher dug out from the bunker and left his ball 10 feet away as he missed his birdie opportunity while Westwood was out of contention when his ball found the water in two consecutive shots.

?I can take a lot from today. I've pushed the world number two all the way. I've beaten guys like Ernie (Els) and obviously Monty (Colin Montgomerie) missed the cut, but I finished ahead of some very high, top-quality players. I thought, you know, obviously a little bit disappointed not to walk away with the trophy, but still, I think it's been a great week,? said Fisher, who won his first professional title in Holland in August.

Starting the fourth round nine shots off the pace, Westwood remained pleased with his final day performance having struck six birdies on the back nine to bring himself into the play-off.

?It didn't look like that with nine holes to go, so yeah, delighted. Last two holes, I hit two (in regulation play), what I thought were perfect putts, and neither went in. So that's kind of the way the week went. I never really got into it. I felt a bit sort of end-of-the-season tired, and sort of got smell of the home stretch on the last few holes there and it sort of spurred me on.

?And really in the grand scheme of things it was the two fantastic putts on the last two holes in regulation play. But you know, they (Mickelson and Fisher) should have finished better because they made a mess of 18 the first time around. Funny tournament, strange things happened.? said Westwood.

Kevin Stadler of United States finished in lone fourth position after a 73 for a 279 total while Irishman Padraig Harrington and Fijian ace Vijay Singh shot matching 71s to claim tied fifth place a stroke behind Stadler.

Thailand?s Chapchai Nirat was Asia?s best finisher in joint 15th place after his even-par performance while Chinese Taipei?s Lin Wen-tang closed in with a similar score to finish in joint 24th place.

?It was a great experience for me to be playing in my first ever HSBC Champions. I?ve learnt a lot and I hope to carry on this experience in future events. It was a tough week and I am pleased with my final round result,? said Chapchai.

It was, however, a disappointing end for defending champion Yang Yong-eun of Korea who was disqualified after signing the wrong scorecard in the third round.

Leading final rounds scores

278 - Phil Mickelson (USA) 68-66-68-76, Ross Fisher (ENG) 68-68-68-74, Lee Westwood (ENG) 70-74-67-67

(Mickelson won the at the second play-off hole)

279 - Kevin Stadler (USA) 64-69-73-73

280 - Vijay Singh (FIJ) 67-70-72-71, Padraig Harrington (IRL) 68-72-69-71

281 - Steve Webster (ENG) 69-70-72-70

282 - Andrew Mclardy (RSA) 68-69-72-73

283 - Paul Casey (ENG) 68-71-66-78, Henrik Stenson (SWE) 70-70-71-72

284 - Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 71-68-72-73

285 - Angel Cabrera (ARG) 68-72-72-73

286 - Simon Yates (SCO) 70-66-75-75, Nick Dougherty (ENG) 71-70-74-71

287 - Chapchai Nirat (THA) 69-73-73-72, Mikko Ilonen (FIN) 74-69-72-72, Soren Kjeldsen (DEN) 71-72-73-71

288 - Nathan Green (AUS) 73-68-69-78, Retief Goosen (RSA) 69-74-71-74, Gregory Havret (FRA) 72-75-72-69

289 - Ernie Els (RSA) 75-69-70-75, Markus Brier (AUT) 69-73-73-74, Bradley Dredge (WAL) 73-73-72-71

290 - Richard Sterne (RSA) 68-72-69-81, Lin Wen-tang (TPE) 71-72-74-73, Kim Kyung-tae (KOR) 71-73-74-72

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 UBS (Naming rights sponsor to the UBS Order of Merit and Official Financial Services Provider), Sofitel (Official Hotel), Srixon (Official Ball), Pin High (Official Apparel Partner) and ESPN Star Sports (Official Regional TV Broadcaster). Sentosa, Singapore?s premier island resort getaway, is the Home of the Asian Tour.