Mickelson's phenomenal charge halts Woods in his tracks - Golf - Sport - The Independent

Mickelson's phenomenal charge halts Woods in his tracks

Phil Mickelson recorded his fourth victory of the season when he held off the challenge of Tiger Woods to win the USPGA Tour Championship in Atlanta yesterday. He closed with a four-under-par 66 and took advantage of sloppy play by Woods to win by two strokes at the East Lake Golf Club.

Phil Mickelson recorded his fourth victory of the season when he held off the challenge of Tiger Woods to win the USPGA Tour Championship in Atlanta yesterday. He closed with a four-under-par 66 and took advantage of sloppy play by Woods to win by two strokes at the East Lake Golf Club.

It was the first time in 20 tournaments that Woods has had at least a share of the 54-hole lead and failed to win. And it was the second time this year that Mickelson was the man responsible for stopping the streak. In February, he won the Buick Invitational in San Diego to stop Woods' tour winning streak of six successes.

"It's a wonderful way to end the year," said Mickelson, who finished at 13 under for 267.

It was a disastrous finish for Woods, who was trying to become the first player in 50 years to win at least 10 times in one season. He struggled off the tee, but still finished with a 69, his 11th straight round in the 60s. Mickelson took the lead with an eight-foot birdie putt on the 15th, and kept his nerve over the final three holes.

The Masters champion, Vijay Singh, who tied with Woods at 10 under, fell behind after a bogey on the first and dropped out of the running on the ninth. He finished in a tie for third at 273 with Nick Price and Ernie Els.

It was the second time in his career that Mickelson had a four-victory season. Such success is normally considered a stellar year, but pales in comparison to the Year of the Tiger - nine victories, including three majors, and nearly $9m (£6.2m) in earnings. Woods goes to Spain next week for the World Golf Championship and a last chance to join Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan and Sam Snead as the only players to win at least 10 times in one season.

In New Delhi, England's Simon Dyson hit a closing-round of 67 but had to settle for second place as playing partner, Arjun Atwal of India, won the Hero Masters in New Delhi by two shots.

Dyson, who played his last 42 holes without a bogey, finished runner-up for the second week in a row but had the satisfaction of dislodging Yeh Wei-tze, of Taiwan, from the top of the Davidoff Tour Order of Merit.

In Cuba, Sweden's Henrik Stenson is on course to win the Challenge Tour Order of Merit when he completes the final round of the Grand Final today.

Stenson leads on 15-under-par and his closest rival is the Surrey-based Scot Andrew Raitt who, after a 67, needs to finish no worse than runner-up to secure his Tour card for next year.

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