Mickelson holds off Els in China

Mickelson holds off Els in China

13 November, 2017 01:11


American Phil Mickelson edged out Ernie Els by a shot to win the HSBC Champions tournament in Shanghai.

South African Els applied the pressure with a course record nine-under-par 63.

But overnight leader Mickelson held his nerve on the final hole, despite finding rough twice, to finish with a 69 for a 17-under-par total.

Ryan Moore carded 68 to finish third, with Rory McIlroy boosting his Race to Dubai bid after a brilliant 63 earned fourth at 14 under par.

Nick Watney's final round of 71 ensured fifth ahead of another Race to Dubai contender Martin Kaymer (67) and an out-of-sorts Tiger Woods.

The world number one began the final round two shots behind Mickelson in second, but a level-par 72 left him five adrift and tied for sixth with Kaymer following runner-up finishes on his previous two trips to Shanghai.

Mickelson's victory handed him his second HSBC Champions title in three years and also saw him become the first person to win the tournament twice, having previously won it in 2007.

It was also a welcome piece of good news after a traumatic season which has seen him take time out to look after his wife and mother who were both diagnosed with cancer.

"It feels terrific. It's my last event of the year and to finish the year like this is just wonderful," said the left-hander.

"Ernie and Rory McIlroy played one of the greatest rounds and I was fortunate to come out on top. It feels good because I had to fight very hard."

Fellow three-time major winner Els will be left to rue his only bogey of the day at the 18th after hitting his approach into the water at the front of the green, but was keen to focus on the positives from his round.

"For me to come back, to actually share the lead, was quite nice," he said.

"I'm disappointed about the 18th but I'm going to really think about the 63 I shot."

Lee Westwood's eighth-place finish sees him replace Padraig Harrington at the top of the Ryder Cup points table.

McIlroy, who came fourth, was the highest-placed European in the tournament, and that finish sees him rise to fourth on the cup standings.

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