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Birdie putt on 18 wins it for Mickelson at Colonial

Phil Mickelson entered the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial ranked second in the world, the highest ranking of any player in the field.

On the final hole on Sunday, he showed what it takes to hold such a lofty status.

After spraying his drive way left on the 18th hole, Mickelson came back by hitting his second shot out of the rough and over trees to within nine feet of the hole and sank the birdie putt to pull out a one-stroke victory for his second Colonial title.

Mickelson, who shot a 2-under 68 on Sunday, finished the tournament at 14-under par, one stroke ahead of Flower Mound resident Rod Pampling and Tim Clark. He also won the title in 2000.

Mickelson led the tournament by one stroke to start the day and became the seventh straight leader or co-leader after three rounds that went on to win the title.

He also holds the distinction as the last golfer not to hold onto a third round lead, which he did in 2001 when Sergio Garcia came from behind to overtake Mickelson and win the plaid jacket.

Pampling led for much of the day, but stumbled at No. 17. He sprayed his drive to the right of the trees on No. 17 and had to take a penalty stroke, leading to a bogey.

Mickelson hit his drive in the middle of the fairway, then hit his second shot in the middle of the green and two-putted from 30 feet for his sixth straight par.

This is not the first time Pampling has led on the final day of the Colonial. Two years ago, was tied for the lead at No. 15, but double-bogeyed the hole and fell out of contention. He finished one stroke back of Tim Herron and Richard Johnson, with Herron eventually winning in a playoff.

Clark made birdies at No. 16 and No. 17 to get to 13-under and into the three-way tie before Mickelson’s birdie. He missed a 14-foot birdie putt on his final hole of the day.

Mickelson started the day strong with a birdie on the second hole to get to 13-under and held a two-stroke lead over Pampling.

But a four-stroke swing starting at hole No. 5 and ending at No. 9 turned a two-shot deficit for Pampling into a two-shot lead over Mickelson. Pampling had three birdies during the stretch with Mickelson bogeying No. 5.

Mickelson came back on the 11th hole by getting it on the green of the par-5 in two shots and then two-putted for a birdie to get back to 13-under and within a stroke of Pampling, and then caught him on No. 17.

Ames struggled early in his round and had back-to-back bogeys on No. 4 and No. 5 to fall to as many as five shots back of Pampling. He finished the day where he started at 11-under and alone in fourth place.

Westlake resident Ben Crane shot a 3-under 67 on Sunday to finish in fifth place.

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