Phil Mickelson closed with a bogey-free round of 65 to win the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship, as Bernhard Langer held on to claim a record-stretching sixth Champions Tour points title.
Mickelson, who entered the final day at Phoenix Country Club three shots behind 54-hole leader Jim Furyk, surged to the top spot with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 15 and 16, and then clinched it with a gain on the par-5 18th.
“It’s been fun for us to come back. And this golf course is in just impeccable shape, it really is pristine,” said Mickelson. “They did such a great job of hosting this tournament and it’s really fun for me to play here. We were looking forward to getting here and I’m glad I played well today.”
The six-time major champion signed for a bogey-free round of 6-under 65, one clear of little-known Kiwi Steven Alker (67).
The reigning PGA Champion joined Jack Nicklaus as the only players to win four of their first six starts on the PGA Tour’s senior circuit.
Mickelson continued, “It’s been fun for me to play out here and see so many guys that I grew up and spent decades with, life-long friends. Then to play well and have some success is very meaningful.
“I’m hoping to use the opportunity to play and compete here as a way to keep my game sharp and have a few special moments on the regular Tour like I had this year in May. If I could have a couple more of those, that’s really what motivates me to work hard, to get in the gym in the offseason, put in the time and the effort to have those special moments.
“I would love to have a couple more. And then these are great, too.”
Langer, 64, who struggled with his putter for most of Sunday, carded a 2-under 69. The German legend posted a 12-under total, good enough to win his sixth Schwab Cup title – and the fifth in seven seasons.
“Yeah, it was an emotional rollercoaster,” said Langer. “What a week, starting off with some back issues for me where I almost withdrew and then it got a little bit better, and then Jim Furyk leading the tournament pretty much all week long, coming down to the very last shot literally of the tournament where he had a chance to eagle the last to win the Schwab Cup.
“Unfortunately didn’t hit his best 3-wood in there, but what a great champion and gentleman Jim Furyk is. He’ll have many more chances to lift this trophy.
“I’m just overwhelmed, you know, at 64 to win this thing six times. It will probably be my last one, I’m almost sure of that, but it’s very, very special.
Furyk needed at least a T3 to edge Langer for the season-long points title, but the 51-year-old Pennsylvanian made a mess of the par-5 finishing hole and settled for par to finish 16-under par and T5.
Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke (64) and David Toms (65) tied for third on 17 under.
Charles Schwab Cup Championship
Leaderboard: Final Top 5
Pos-Player-To Par (Final Rd)
1. Phil Mickelson -19 (-6)
2. Steven Alker -18 (-4)
3. Darren Clarke -17 (-7)
3. David Toms -17 (-6)
5. Brandt Jobe -16 (-5)
5. Jim Furyk -16 (E)
Charles Schwab Cup Points
Season-Long: Final Top 5
1. Bernhard Langer (3,655,999)
2. Jim Furyk (3,499,522)
3. Miguel Angel Jimenez (3,051,298)
4. Ernie Els (2,960,445)
5. Jerry Kelly (2,619,201)