Mickelson’s Magic

AFP

American world No. 2 Phil Mickelson conjured a magical birdie with a 140-yard wedge approach on the final hole to win his second Colonial Invitational title by a shot on May 25.

After pushing his drive into the left rough behind a clump of trees, the left-hander struck his second shot to nine feet before sinking the putt for a two-under-par 68 at the Colonial Country Club.

Mickelson, one ahead of the pack overnight but two behind with nine holes to play, punched his fist in celebration after clinching his 34th PGA Tour victory with a 14-under total of 266.

Australia’s Rod Pampling, who had forged two strokes clear midway through the final round, bogeyed the 17th on his way to a matching 68 and a tie for second place with South African Tim Clark (66).

Clark, seeking his first PGA Tour title, birdied two of the last three holes to secure his sixth runner-up spot on the world’s most lucrative circuit.

“I’m as surprised as anybody I was able to make a three from over there,” Mickelson, 37, said of his remarkable shot through and over trees at the last.

“I was just lucky. It wasn’t like it was an easy shot, but it just came off perfectly. It was one of my more memorable ones.”

Known for his creative and often bold on-course strategy, Mickelson ranked his wedge approach as “probably top five” among the best shots of his career.