GolfCzech.com | Golf news | With back-to-back birdies, Mickelson wins second straight at Riviera

With back-to-back birdies, Mickelson wins second straight at Riviera

2/23/2009

Phil Mickelson nearly blew the biggest lead of his career, then had to scramble for par to avoid a playoff

When his roller-coaster week at Riviera ended Sunday, the Northern Trust Open turned out to be one of his more satisfying victories.

After watching tee shots sail in every direction, turning a four-shot lead into a two-shot deficit with three holes to play, Mickelson recovered with back-to-back birdies and stepped to the 18th tee with a one-shot lead.

But when one of his wildest weeks was over -- 63-72-62-72 -- Lefty won for the 35th time in his career, with 17 of those victories on the Left Coast.

He finished at 15-under 269 and joined Ben Hogan, Corey Pavin and Mike Weir as the only back-to-back winners at Riviera.

Stricker closed with a 67 and was on his way to the range to get ready for a playoff when he saw Mickelson leave himself a tough par putt on the final hole, and stopped when he heard the cheer.

He had his chances. Stricker missed a 12-foot birdie putt on the par-5 17th that would have given him a three-shot lead at the time, then missed a 12-footer for par on the 18th.

Leaderboard – Final:

1.  Phil Mickelson                 USA  63 72 62 72 269 -15
2.  Steve Stricker                  USA  68 66 69 6ý 270 -14
3.  K.J. Choi                         KOR  66 69 67 69 271 -13
     Andres Romero               ARG  66 70 65 70 271 -13
     Fred Couples                  USA  67 70 65 69 271 -13
6.  J.B. Holmes                     USA  73 67 64 68 272 -12
     Luke Donald                    ENG  66 69 69 68 272 -12
     Mark Calcavecchia            USA  70 69 64 69 272 -12
     Rory Sabbatini                 SAF  68 67 67 70 272 -12
10. Brendon de Jonge            ZIM  69 70 67 67 273 -11
     Dustin Johnson                USA  66 70 67 70 273 -11
     Scott McCarron                 USA  64 68 70 71 273 -11

Source: AP, PGA Tour

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