MEXICO CITY (AP) — Phil Mickelson knew this was once coming, even if he had so little to turn for it.

Mickelson had long past 101 tournaments all over the world since he remaining received at Muirfield within the 2013 British Open, which moved him to No. 2 on the planet and gave him the 3rd leg of the occupation Grand Slam. In additional than 20 years at the PGA Excursion, he had long past simplest two seasons with out successful.

After which it was once as much as 4 immediately years and counting.

There was once extra frustration than self-doubt. And with Mickelson, even at age 47, there was once by no means a lack of self assurance.

“I knew that wasn’t going to be my remaining one, no,” he stated Sunday. “And this is not both.”

The latest one got here within the top altitude of the Mexico Championship, and it was once some other pulsating efficiency, as ceaselessly is the case with Mickelson.

5 birdies within the opening 10 holes gave him the lead. Proper when he was once at the verge of taking keep an eye on, he went for the fairway at the par-Five 11th hollow just for the shot to carom off a tree and into the trees close to the brink of Chapultepec Golfing Membership. Deep within the trees, he blasted out and hit the group. He wound up making bogey. Then got here some other wild force that bounced alongside the cart trail, forcing him to scramble for par.

3 teams forward of him, Justin Thomas delivered the shot of the match. 11 pictures in the back of going into the weekend and all at once tied for the lead, Thomas holed out from 119 yards at the ultimate hollow for eagle to cap off a 62-64 weekend as he went for his 2nd immediately victory.

“I did not know that he holed out,” Mickelson stated. “I simply noticed that he completed at 16 underneath when I used to be taking part in the 15th, and that supposed that I had to birdie two to get even with him.”

And that is the reason what he did. An excellent force and a 6-iron for a two-putt birdie, after which a 20-foot birdie at the 16th.

Mickelson closed with a 66 and headed to a sudden-death playoff with Thomas, a duel between avid gamers separated through 23 years of age. Lacking from the gang was once Tyrrell Hatton, who delivered his personal price with 4 immediately 3s on his card, the remaining one an eagle to tie for the lead. However he overlooked the 18th inexperienced with a wedge, chipped robust and overlooked the par putt.

The sudden-death playoff ended briefly. Thomas went lengthy with an opening wedge to the par-Three 17th and chipped to 10 toes wanting the outlet. Mickelson hit the fairway, narrowly overlooked the birdie putt and walked off a winner — in spite of everything — when Thomas overlooked his putt.

The discontentment was once tempered through the fellow who beat him.

Mickelson took pastime in Thomas ahead of he even reached the PGA Excursion. They performed a convention spherical on the 2014 U.S. Open, and Mickelson stated that day to the media, “You can get to grasp Justin Thomas quickly sufficient.”

Thomas, the PGA Excursion participant of the yr remaining season and already a two-time winner this season, moved to No. 2 on the planet.

He’s the kind of participant — in conjunction with Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm, Jason Day and Rory McIlroy — who constitute a formidable younger era that Mickelson now has to overcome if he desires to succeed in one in every of his targets.

Mickelson, who captured his 3rd Global Golfing Championship, now has 43 victories at the PGA Excursion. The primary was once in 1991 — ahead of Thomas, Spieth and Rahm have been even born — when he was once an novice. He has lengthy stated he desires to get to 50.

The extra pertinent quantity may well be 48. That is how previous Mickelson shall be in June. Nobody has received greater than 5 instances at the PGA Excursion after turning 47.

“Oh, I can,” Mickelson stated about achieving 50 titles. “I’m going to get there.”

That is not all he desires. One in all his leader targets for the yr was once to be on his 12th consecutive Ryder Cup staff for a possibility to win in Europe, which he hasn’t ever completed. The victory will have to be sufficient to transport him to No. four within the standings. Given his worth within the staff room, successful the Mexico Championship makes it laborious to fail to remember Mickelson.

Left unsaid is the U.S. Open, the one primary holding him from the occupation Grand Slam. It returns this summer time to Shinnecock Hills, the place Mickelson was once at the cusp of successful the remaining two instances in 1995 and 2004.

For now, the point of interest is at the Masters and a possibility so as to add a fourth inexperienced jacket.

“I had to get a win ahead of Augusta so I wasn’t looking to win for the primary time in four-and-a-half, 5 years at that tournament,” he stated.

He were given his validation in Mexico Town. It was once significant as it was once the primary victory since he started operating with Andrew Getson, and the primary victory along with his more youthful brother, Tim, as his caddie. And it was once the following victory, regardless of how lengthy it took.

“I do not believe that is the height,” he stated. “I believe I’ll proceed to recover.”

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