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Phil Mickelson captures Phoenix Open for 41st PGA Tour title

By Kyle Porter | Golf Writer
Phil Mickelson closes out the Phoenix Open. (Getty Images)

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Phil Mickelson has had quite a last two weeks.

First there were the tax comments after the Humana Challenge, then he nearly missed the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open, then he almost shot the sixth 59 in PGA Tour history.

And now, he's your 2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open champion.

Brandt Snedeker poked and prodded at Lefty all day, dropping birdies and sticking shots that led to a 65 and kept Phil moving.

Mickelson was able to hold him off, however, with a final-round 67, narrowly missing out on the all-time PGA Tour 72-hole scoring record of 254.

Here's a look at the fewest strokes ever taken in 72-hole PGA Tour Events:

Fewest strokes in 72-hole events
SHOTSTO PARGOLFERTOURNAMENTYEAR
254-26Tommy Armour IIIValero Texas Open2003
255-33Steve StrickerBob Hope Classic2009
256-28Phil MickelsonPhoenix Open2013
256-28Mark CalcavecchiaPhoenix Open2001
256-24Russell HenleySony Open2013
257-23Tiger WoodsTOUR Championship2007
257-27Mike SouchakTexas Open1955

The craziest part is that Mickelson fell short of even setting an outright scoring record for the Phoenix Open. As you can see above, Calcavecchia still holds that honor with his equally ridiculous -28 in 2001.

And as Shane Bacon pointed out, Snedeker was the real loser in this situation:

Lefty was tied with Calcavecchia and John Cook (1996 FedEx St. Jude Classic) for second on the 54-hole scoring list at 189 but "fell apart" with that 67 in the last round. Steve Stricker holds the 54-hole record at 188.

As Gary Van Sickle pointed out, Mickelson loves playing this time of year.

Mickelson now has at least one win on each of his last 10 seasons on Tour, the longest such streak of any golfer. He has also now won an event in 20 different years. And that is an impressive list (via NBC):

Most years with at least one win
GOLFERYEARS WITH AT LEAST ONE WIN
Sam Snead24
Jack Nicklaus21
Phil Mickelson20
Walter Hagen19
Arnold Palmer18
Billy Casper18
Tiger Woods16

The crowds in Phoenix couldn't get enough of Mickelson either. From his flirty 59 on Thursday to his near-ace of No. 16 on Saturday (see below), they love their now three-time champion (Mickelson also won the event in 2005).

Mickelson made a ridiculous one eagle, 29 birdies, 40 pars, and just two bogeys or double bogeys all week. Most of them were vintage -- crazy sand saves, slick putting, driving all over the yard -- you know, Phil stuff.

Mickelson was all thumbs up and smiles on Sunday as he danced around the course for a beautifully-constructed win. After his round he told NBC how excited it was to win:

When you haven't won you want it bad. I hit a lot of good shots today and just did what I had to do to win. That's all I cared about. In general I feel like my game is on the upswing. It's important to start building momentum [towards Augusta].

The tournament as a whole was great too.

Fans gasped over Mickelson's lipout for 59 and roared as he hoisted the Phoenix Open trophy, and most everywhere they were saying the exact same thing:

"That's just Phil being Phil."

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnGolf and @KylePorterCBS on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

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