The Norman Transcript

Sports

February 4, 2013

Mickelson victorious at Phoenix Open

(Continued)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. —

After three nearly cloudless days in the Valley of the Sun, the final round was played in overcast conditions. Light rain even fell for a few minutes as Mickelson finished warming up on the practice green and played the first hole.

After the rain stopped, Mickelson bogeyed the par-4 second hole and birdied the two front-nine par 3s, pulling off his best shot of the day on No. 7.

After Snedeker, four strokes back after a birdie on No. 6, hit within 10 feet of the back-left pin to set up a birdie, Mickelson’s tee shot leaked right and rolled to a stop an inch from the back fringe, leaving him 55 feet with a 20-foot swath of fringe between his ball and the hole.

Mickelson decided to putt through the fringe rather than chip over it and had caddie Jim Mackay remove the flagstick. The 42-year-old former Arizona State star hit it perfectly, with the ball avoiding the rough, rolling back onto the green and racing into the cup.

Mickelson pushed the advantage back to four strokes with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 13th, his fourth straight birdie on the hole.

Snedeker saved par on the hole after his drive stopped under jumping cholla, forcing him to take a drop for an unplayable lie.

Mickelson matched Snedeker on the next two holes, saving par on the par-4 14th with a 10-foot putt and two-putting for birdie on the par-5 15th.

Snedeker pulled within three again on the par-3 16th, hitting to 5 feet on the stadium hole. Mickelson’s 15-footer slid by the right edge.

Snedeker had his second second-place finish of the week. He tied for second Monday at Torrey Pines, four strokes behind Tiger Woods in the fog-delayed event.

Scott Piercy shot a 61 to finish third at 23 under. Ryan Moore was fourth at 22 under after a 65, and Ryan Palmer closed with a 62 to finish fifth at 19 under.

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