Sunday, November 8, 2009

This round goes to Mickelson

It wasn't the showdown that everyone was hoping for, but it was interesting to say the least. Both Mickelson and Tiger made some serious miscues in the final round of the HSBC World Golf Championship in Shanghai that they don't normally make.

Phil missed a few short putts, had a really bad 3-putt, was wayward with the driver for most of the the day, and even whiffed a flop shot. He did make a great par save on 16 and a nice birdie on 17 to seal the tournament. He finished with a final round 69 and ended up at 17 under.

Tiger missed several short putts, had a really bad 3-putt as well, yanked an iron into the water, hit a fairway bunker shot with a plugged lie about five feet, and chunked a flop shot into a bunker. He was four over through seven but was able to make five birdies from there to finish with an even par round of 72, good enough for 6th place at 12 under.

The nerves must have gotten to them all. In one five minute stretch, Els dumped his 5 wood into the middle of the lake on 18. On hole 16, Watney hit a very poor chip from the rough, Mickelson whiffed his flop, and Woods chunked his flop into a bunker. Amazing to see the top players in the world all hit poor shots like that in a row.

Regardless, it was still an exiting tournament to watch. Mickelson ends his 2009 season on a high note with his fourth win. Tiger will be taking his game to the Australian Masters starting on Thursday in Melbourne.

It's almost a certainty that these two will be going head to head a lot in 2010.

2009 HSBC World Golf Championship - Full photo galleries and recap

AP Photos / Andy Wong