FORT WORTH, Texas Another memorable shot, and another victory, for Phil Mickelson's impressive ledger.
Not the 9-foot birdie putt on the final hole that gave him a one-stroke victory at the Crowne Plaza Invitational on Sunday. Instead, it was the 140-yard wedge from heavy rough that set it up: when Mickelson had to hit under one tree and over another, the ball clipping branches while headed sky-high.
"Just lucky," Mickelson said, with a smile. "I'm as surprised as anybody I was able to make a 3 from over there."
Once Mickelson hit the ball "it just came off perfectly," he said he couldn't see it through the branches. So he took a couple of steps before jogging through the trees into an opening just in time to see the ball fall back to earth near the flag.
One of Mickelson's best shots ever?
"Probably top five," Lefty responded, pointing out that he had already discussed that with his wife, Amy.
"That's what No. 2s in the world do," said Rod Pampling, who blew a two-stroke lead on the back nine. "Those guys make those kinds of shots."
The birdie closed out a round of 2-under 68 that got Mickelson to 14-under 266, a stroke better than Pampling (68) and Tim Clark (66) for his second victory at Colonial.
It was the 34th career victory for Mickelson, who also won the Northern Trust Open in February and is the only person on the PGA Tour with multiple victories in each of the past five seasons.
Mickelson began the final round with a one-stroke lead. But like the day before, he fell behind before regaining the lead on his final putt of the day.
Pampling, playing with Mickelson, made the turn at 14 under. He still led by one after saving par out of a greenside bunker at the 188-yard 16th.
But on the ensuing drive at the 382-yard 17th, Pampling hit the ball way right toward a ditch. He had to take a penalty stroke after a drop though that put his ball where it could be seen rather than buried in heavy rough at the edge of a concrete gully. He managed to get the approach shot into a bunker, then blasted to 4 feet, pushing both arms in the air before tapping in the bogey. That came after Mickelson had two-putted from 28 feet for par.
After Mickelson's final drive went well left, Pampling drove down the middle of the fairway. But Pampling left his approach 38 feet away, his second putt going in after Mickelson had already made his birdie.
"Came close again at the end," said Pampling, who finished third at Colonial two years after a double bogey at No. 15. "I hope next time, I'll be good to go."
Pampling still may have done enough to get into the top 50 for a spot in the U.S. Open.
Clark had birdies at Nos. 16 and 17 to get to 13 under and tie for the lead.
Pampling hit his tee shot at 16 into the right greenside bunker, and blasted within 9 feet. After Mickelson made par, Pampling took extra time to examine his line and then saved par, pumping his right fist hard in the air as the ball dropped into the hole.
"At times I got nervy, I was trying to relax, do breathing and focused what I have to do. I was fine out there," Pampling said. "It was bad swing on 17. It was the only one I was disappointed in."
As Mickleson and Pampling were finishing No. 17, Clark's 14-foot birdie chance at the closing hole curled just short. He finished second for the sixth time in his career, still without a victory.
"I wasn't trying to force anything. I was playing the course the way I did the first few days," Clark said. "I made some good shots coming in and made a few putts. It was disappointing I left 18 short."
Stephen Ames (70) finished fourth at 269, a stroke ahead of Ben Crane (67).
SENIOR PGA CHAMPIONSHIP: At Rochester, N.Y., Jay Haas overcame a shaky putter during a topsy-turvy final round that bordered on the surreal this was unmercifully stingy Oak Hill after all to hang on and win his second Senior PGA Championship in three years. Haas endured a five-bogey, one-birdie round of 74 to finish the tournament at 7-over 287 and claim the $360,000 first prize. Bernhard Langer, the third-round leader, finished second, a shot back after posting a 76 that he began with a double-bogey after striking a spectator with his opening tee shot.
LPGA CORNING CLASSIC: At Corning, N.Y., Leta Lindley stared in disbelief when the putt disappeared into the cup, and who could blame her. Lindley's winning birdie came on the first hole of a playoff her first career victory in her 295th professional start on tour. Lindley, with her husband caddying and her young son and daughter watching on television, began the final hole of regulation tied at 11 under.
BMW PGA CHAMPIONSHIP: At Virginia Water, England, Miguel Angel Jimenez won on the second playoff hole, sinking a 2-foot birdie to beat Oliver Wilson.
The 44-year-old Spaniard, who had a hole-in-one in his round of 68, struck his second shot at No. 18 to within 30 feet and two-putted to claim his 15th tour victory.