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Mickelson dominant in wire-to-wire victory

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It was largely a foregone conclusion that Phil Mickelson, barring a string of Winged Foot-esque blunders, would win his third Phoenix Open title.

With a final-round 67 Sunday, Mickelson did just that.

He entered the final round with a six-stroke lead over Brandt Snedeker at 24-under. Padraig Harrington, who vaulted up the leaderboard Saturday with a spectacular 63, and Ryan Moore were seven strokes back.

Before the final round, Mickelson had this to say about Snedeker:

“I know how good [he] is and how hot he can get with a putter. He can make birdie from just about anywhere. He’s going to make a run tomorrow. I, hopefully, will be able to keep pace.”

As the players made the turn, Snedeker had closed Mickelson’s lead to just three strokes with birdies at six, seven and nine. It appeared Mickelson’s prediction was coming true. However, when Snedeker found his tee shot beneath a Jumping Cholla on the 13th hole, forcing him to take an unplayable lie, victory began to look like an increasingly remote possibility.

Mickelson, for his part, reached the 13th in two with a pured fairway wood and two-putted for a birdie — a four-shot lead with five holes to play. A stellar par-saving putt at the next allowed Mickelson to take his foot off the gas, somewhat, and enjoy the pageantry of the closing holes the the Phoenix Open.

The last bit of drama came at the short par-4 17th hole where Mickelson was a couple paces from finding the water with his tee shot. In classic Mickelson fashion, the golfer played a lofted pitch from near the edge of hazard to the green and holed the birdie putt to go 28-under for the tournament.

Snedeker carded a final-round 65 for his second runner-up finish in the last two weeks on Tour.. His final tally would have won every Phoenix Open except two since 1932, a measure of the quality of Mickelson’s play.

Moore was six-under for the day, but still finished six shots behind Mickelson and one shot behind Scott Piercy, who got around in a blistering 10-under 61. Harrington didn’t have his best stuff on the final day and finished in a tie for ninth, one-under for the day and 17-under for the tournament.

The 2013 edition of “The Greatest Show on Grass” was a love story, really. Mickelson planted a kiss on his Callaway RAZR Fit Xtreme driver early in the tournament. The Arizona State alumnus swung the club with incredible confidence since putting it in his bag to begin the week.

“I’m really ecstatic about the way I’m driving it this week but also about the long-term effects that this driver can have,” Mickelson said.

He should be ecstatic. Hitting 50 percent of his fairways across four days of competition enabled Mickelson to reach a staggering 83 percent of green in regulation for the tournament.

A pre-tournament tune-up with coach Butch Harmon paid dividends for the golfer, as well. Harmon reportedly flattened out his star pupil’s swing, according to multiple reports. Whatever the two worked on, it seems to be working

Mickelson’s opening-round run at 59, which ended with a heartbreaking lip-out at the last and a tap-in for 60, sent shockwaves through the golfing world. With his second round 65, the left-hander tied Marc Calcavecchia for the lowest two round total in tournament history.

Highlighted by a near-hole-in-one in front of 20,000 fans amidst the singular insanity that is the 16th hole amphitheater, Mickelson’s third-round 64 put him in prime position to extend a remarkable streak — he now has at least one victory in each of the last 10 years.

The golfer’s year thus far didn’t betray any signs of the eruption which was to take place in the Arizona desert this week. In fact, prior to this week’s victory, it seemed Mickelson’s most notable volcanic explosion of the early part of 2013 would be his commentary on his tax rate and suggestions that he might leave California.

Suffering from flu-like symptoms early in his first tournament of the year, Mickelson turned in pedestrian result at the Humana Challenge, finishing in a tie for 37th. At last week’s Farmers Insurance Open, Mickelson only managed to make it around Torrey Pines at even par, finishing in a tie for 51st.

With the first wire-to-wire victory since Rory McIlroy’s triumph at the 2011 U.S. Open, Mickelson has announced himself as a serious contender for the Masters in April, where he last won in 2010.

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  1. Troy Vayanos

    Feb 3, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    Impressive tournament for Mickelson.

    I wonder if he has an eye on the US Masters in a couple of months time now?

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Tour Photo Galleries

WRX Retrospective: Interesting photos from the 2019 Masters

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As of now, we know the 2020 Masters is going to have to wait until November. The tournament will be as exciting as it will be interesting since it will be the first modern glimpse into Augusta National beyond April.

It has also given us the great opportunity to look back with hindsight 20/20 (that was very much an unintended pun) at our pictures from 2019 to showcase some of the most noteworthy and interesting, including some potential foreshadowing of the week that was to come.

2007 Masters champion Zach Johnson isn’t one to change putters too often, but he must have been searching for something last year when testing out this TaylorMade Spider.

This was Viktor Hovland’s last Masters as an amateur. He won low amateur honors and went on to capture the same distinction at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

TaylorMade always does a wonderful job with major-themed accessories and bags. 2019 was no exception.

Little did we know at the time this was taken, this man would be leading heading into Sunday’s final round. How the tables turned so quickly.

Callaway’s collab with Seamus Golf lead to these flower-themed headcovers.

We can’t forget that Tuesday practice day was rained out and the course was closed at 10 a.m. to both players and spectators. It wasn’t the warm spring kickoff many had hoped for!

Although it was short-lived, it was a rainy Tuesday for all, including caddies.

The weather broke on Wednesday and the view up the 10th hole never gets old.

Did you realize two-time Masters champ Bubba Watson’s Flightscope has a custom pink paint job?

Inexpensive snacks and beverages are always a highlight of any Master’s visit.

The 2019 Masters featured pre-bulked Bryson, who also happened to have a custom FlightScope X3. He looks like a veritable stick!

They say a picture says 1,000 words, but in the case of Tiger Woods, we had no idea how many words would be written come Sunday.

A peek into the bag of Gary Woodland, who would go on to become the U.S. Open Champion only a few months later.

Special shoutout to Gary Woodland’s caddy Brennan Little, who hails from St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada, and is obviously a big Toronto Blue Jays fan. He was also on the bag for Mike Wier’s win in 2003.

Although the relationship was short-lived, Sergio used some very cool custom Toulon putters while on staff with Callaway Golf.

The eighth green is one of the most interesting and mounded on the course, there’s not a bunker to be found but danger lurks everywhere.

Undulations at No. 1 are a sight to be seen at ground level.

The iconic, understated clubhouse of ANGC.

The tucked-away first tee spike cleaner is something every course should have.

And of course, the iconic 12th, where so much would be decided come Sunday.

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Tour Photo Galleries

10 interesting photos from the 2020 Players Championship

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2020 Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

The field this week featured the best golfers in the world, including Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler, and more.

Rory McIlroy enters the tournament as the defending champion, looking hoist the crystal again.

Check out all our galleries below, along with highlights from TPC Sawgrass.

General Galleries

Special Galleries

Bettinardi’s St. Patrick’s Day covers  

Brand-new Srixon 745 in Keegan’s bag

Roger Sloan’s custom Cameron

Mizuno JPX 919 Hot Metal irons spotted in Nick Watney’s bag 

Joel Dahmen with a battle-worn hybrid

Fresh eggs for Patrick Reed…

Justin Rose continues to tweak his equipment

Carlos Ortiz looks to be picking up some supplies to mark the end of his driveway…

Jordan Spieth with a Vokey WedgeWorks Proto 60T in the bag

Kiradech Aphibarnrat with lead tape and stamping on cavity-back irons. Solid! 

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Tour News

GolfWRX Spotted: Justin Rose with mixed bag at Arnold Palmer Invitational

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It’s not very often we get breaking equipment news this time of year on the PGA Tour schedule, but this week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, one of the highest-profile players on tour, Justin Rose, was spotted testing multiple brands of clubs throughout his entire bag.

It started last week at the Honda Classic when Rose put a TaylorMade SIM driver with Mitsubishi Kuro Kage in play. As of today’s first round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Rose has a mixed set including TaylorMade, Cobra, and Titleist clubs, along with an Axis1 putter.

Here are the details of Rose’s equipment:

Driver: TaylorMade SIM (10.5 degrees @ 8.5)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage XTS 70 TX

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM Max (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage XTS 80 TX

5-wood: Cobra SpeedZone Tour (16.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ 80 X

Irons: TaylorMade P730 (4-PW)
Shafts: Project X 6.5

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 (52, 56 degrees), Titleist Vokey Design Prototype K Grind (60 degrees)
Shafts: Project X 6.5 (52, 56), Proto Hi-Rev 135X (60)

Putter: Axis1 Rose
Grip: Flat Cat Svelte

Ball: TaylorMade TP5 ‘19 (No. 1)

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