This article is part of our Weekly Recap series.
So many times over the past five years, Phil Mickelson said "close" and "soon." He surely believed he was on the verge of winning a tournament again, but he ended up sounding like the boy who cried wolf. And yet, when Mickelson said over the past few weeks that he was, yes, close, this time things seemed different. It turns out, they were.
Mickelson survived a one-hole playoff with Justin Thomas to end a drama-filled Sunday at the WGC-Mexico and win for the first time since the 2013 Open Championship. The 101-tournament winless stretch was the longest of his Hall of Fame career.
"I can't put into words how much this means to me," the 47-year-old Mickelson told reporters in Mexico City. "I knew it was going to be soon — I've been playing too well for it not to be. But you just never know until it happens."
Mickelson had finished runner-up six times since his previous win, including just three weeks ago at Pebble Beach. It was this recent surge – with high finish after high finish – that made it seem that victory was within reach. Mickelson finished tied for fifth at Torrey Pines, was co-runner-up at Pebble and then tied for sixth at Riviera, setting the stage for Sunday.
Remember, before this four-tournament stretch, Mickelson was on the verge of falling out of the top-50 in the OWGR for the first time in 15 years. Now, he's soared to 18th, his highest standing in almost a