World's finest in great two-ball of China

When China put up the many millions required to persuade America to allow them to stage a World Golf Championship event, they dreamt of Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods going out in the final group on the final day. This morning that dream was realised.

The world Nos 1 and 2 were at the top of the HSBC Champions leaderboard after the third round, with Mickelson holding a two-shot lead over Woods. Their compatriot Nick Watney was playing gooseberry-in-chief, making up the marquee three-ball and standing on 12-under alongside Woods.

With respect to Watney, nobody was expecting the winner of the £720,000 cheque to come from anywhere but the two most famous players in golf. Mickelson's 67 yesterday certainly suggested he was capable of denying Woods what would have been his 17th WGC title. With the wind switching and changing the entire make-up of the Sheshan course in Shanghai, Mickelson, the champion two years ago, dropped just one shot in his five-under round. Its brilliance was confirmed on the scoreboard. Of the leading contenders at halfway, his was the only sub-70 score.

Woods and Watney both posted 70s, while the round of the day belonged to Lee Westwood. A sparkling seven-under-par 65 put him in the hunt on 10-under. Yet it was the golfer nicknamed Lefty who was the talk of the town, particularly the right-handed shot he played from behind a tree to salvage a bogey. Mickelson saw it as significant as his shot in the WGC CA Championship he won in March, where he played a similarly remarkable recovery. "I was up against a tree, took a pitching wedge and flipped it over and chipped out on to the fairway," he said. "I said to my caddie after I did that, I thought that was a good omen, because I ended up winning at Doral having to hit a right-handed shot."

While Woods holds the advantage when the duo are paired together, Mickelson claimed the bragging rights in the final round of The Masters earlier this year, although both went out hoping for a better end-result this time after Angel Cabrera walked away from Augusta with the green jacket.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'