MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – MARCH 04: Phil Mickelson chips to the first green during the final round of World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship at Club De Golf Chapultepec on March 4, 2018 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
By E. Michael Johnson
Phil Mickelson had gone four-plus years without a win on the PGA Tour but Lefty ended that drought at the WGC-Mexico Championship, defeating Justin Thomas on the first hole of a playoff with a two-putt par.
As it often is with Mickelson, it was his hall of fame short game that propelled him to victory. For the week Mickelson ranked third in strokes gained/putting at 1.850 and second in scrambling at 81.82 percent converting 18 of 22 chances. Included was the 19-foot birdie putt that Mickelson holed on the 16th hole for a birdie that put him in a tie at the time with Thomas and Tyrrell Hatton. The putter Mickelson used this week was his trusty Odyssey Versa #9 White, the same model he used to win the Open Championship.
Mickelson’s wedges happen to be a model on which his name is on the patent—Callaway’s Mack Daddy PM Grind. Collaborating with designer Roger Cleveland on the club, which debuted in 2015, Mickelson leaned on inspiration from Ping’s old Eye2 L-wedge, a club Lefty had used in the past. Mickelson favored the high toe area, which provides more surface area for shots played with an extremely open face (Mickelson favours lob shots with frequency). Additionally, the grooves stretch out across the entire face, another Mickelson suggestion.
So when Mickelson thanked Callaway for its support in his after-playoff interview, he not only was thanking the company. He was thanking himself, too.
What Phil Mickelson had in the bag at the WGC-Mexico Championship
Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X Driver: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero Driver (Project X HZRDUS T1100), 9 degrees 3-wood: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero, 13.5 degrees Hybrid: Callaway Rogue, 19 degrees Irons (4): Callaway Epic Pro; (5-PW): Callaway X Forged 18 Irons Wedges:Callaway Mack Daddy PM Grind (56, 60, 64 degrees) Putter: Odyssey Versa #9 White