Phil Mickelson wins East Lake Tiger Woods the FedEx Cup

By Doug FergusonSeptember 28, 2009, 2:05 am

THE TOUR Championship by Coke 2007 Logo

ATLANTA – Phil Mickelson had the smaller check and felt like the biggest winner. Tiger Woods was congratulated after he finished second in the Tour Championship.

Sunday was the eighth time that golf’s two biggest stars finished 1-2 in a tournament.

Never have they shared the spotlight, each going home with a trophy that was meaningful in its own way.

Mickelson capped off a tumultuous summer at home with a spectacular rally at East Lake, closing with a 5-under 65 to go from four shots behind to a three-shot victory, his first since his wife and mother were diagnosed with breast cancer in the spring.

Woods made two late birdies, not enough to put any heat on Mickelson, but to secure the FedEx Cup and its $10 million bonus. It finished a season in which he won six times and was no worse than second in nine of his 17 tournaments.

“I like the way today went,” Mickelson said. “I was two back of him, I beat him by three. He gets the $10 million check, and I get $1 million. I’ve got no problem with that. I just love holding this finally.”

He motioned toward the crystal trophy of the Tour Championship, which has not belonged to him since he won in 2000 at East Lake by again rallying in the final round to beat Woods.

Mickelson finished at 9-under 271 and earned $1.35 million. He also collected $3 million for being second in the FedEx Cup. It was his third victory of the year, the 37th of his career and it pushed him back to No. 2 in the world ranking.

Phil Mickelson Tour Championship
Phil Mickelson fist pumps after chipping in for birdie on the 16th green on Sunday of the Tour Championship. (Getty Images)

“It means a lot to finish the year off on such a good note,” Mickelson said. “We’ve been through a lot, and I’m very proud of my wife and my mom on the fight that they’ve been through. We’re in good shape. Although day-to-day is tough, and it’s not easy for them, we’re fortunate that our long-term outlook is good.”

Woods stood on the 18th green with his biggest rival, perturbed by his inability to make putts inside 20 feet, trying to remind himself that he had a remarkable season coming off major knee surgery.

“I’m sure I would probably be more happy tomorrow than I am right now, because you’re in the moment trying to win this event,” Woods said. “Winning takes care of everything. But when you’re in the moment out there, I’m trying to win a golf tournament. I’m trying to beat Phil, he’s trying to beat me … we’re all there, and it was just a great leaderboard.”

It was a great finish to a FedEx Cup that was compelling to the very end.

Three other players had a chance to capture the big prize along the back nine at East Lake.

– Kenny Perry had a two-shot lead to start the final round and doubled it after two holes, only to implode with poor tee shots, bad chips and missed putts that led to a 74.

– As it became clear Mickelson was headed toward victory, Steve Stricker only needed to finish ahead of Woods. He was in position until he found mud on his ball in the 16th fairway, sailed the green and made consecutive bogeys to shoot 69.

“I knew it was close, put it that way,” Stricker said of the FedEx Cup race. “Whatever. I played my hardest.”

– Sean O’Hair stayed within range of Mickelson until he took a bogey on the 17th hole and wound up with a 69, alone in third.

“I was feeling the nerves a little bit out there, which was great to feel,” O’Hair said. “I just didn’t get it done.”

Mickelson’s only hope for the FedEx Cup was for Woods to finish eighth or worse, a remote possibility until Woods made his first birdie of the final round at No. 15, then ended a bizarre drought with a 35-foot birdie on the 16th. It was his first one-putt birdie in 24 holes.

Woods wasn’t paying a lick of attention to the FedEx Cup, only that other trophy.

Related Content

Player: Phil Mickelson
  • Event: The Tour Championship presented by Coca-Cola
  • Tour: PGA Tour

“All I know is I was three and four back, I just needed to push, needed a run or two or three birdies to get me right back in the ball game,” Woods said. “Unfortunately, that run didn’t happen until 15. And that’s a little late.”

Mickelson seized control with a 31 on the front nine, and his lone birdie on the back came from a chip-in out of a nasty lie behind the 16th green that essentially secured his victory.

Confident as ever from his putting tips from former PGA champion Dave Stockton, Mickelson rolled in consecutive birdie putts of 15 feet on No. 3 and 30 feet on No. 4, then pulled into a share of the lead with a pitching wedge that caught the lip at No. 8 for a tap-in birdie.

Mickelson played the final 20 holes of the Tour Championship without a bogey.

Woods only cared about the Tour Championship, believing the FedEx Cup would take care of itself. When he captured the cup two years ago under a different points system, he won the final two events, including a seven-shot win at East Lake.

“It feels certainly not like it did a couple of years ago when I won the tournament,” Woods said. “That felt a little bit better.”

Despite a one-shot lead through 36 holes at East Lake, Woods struggled on the greens Saturday and with the rest of his game in the final round. Except for his two-putt birdie on the par-5 15th, he had only four birdie putts inside 20 feet and missed them all.

“Phil played well. He did the things he needed to do this week,” Woods said. “Unfortunately, I didn’t putt well and consequently, I didn’t push him. Phil ran off and got away from us.”

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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...


2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia


And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title


Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open


Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59


Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63


Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut


Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club


Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth


The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ


Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year


And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win


Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.