Shanghai:After nearly blowing a tournament he seemed on course to win easily, Phil Mickelson rallied Sunday to take the HSBC Champions tournament on the second hole of a three-way playoff against Englishmen Ross Fisher and Lee Westwood.
Mickelson dropped a 4-foot birdie putt to win the US$5 million (euro3.4 million) tournament, the largest payday in Asian golf. The winning share was US$833,300 (euro567,500).
Fisher had already played four shots when Mickelson holed out. Westwood dumped two in the water and was out of it when Mickelson drained his winning putt.
The finish was a wild one for Number 2-ranked Mickelson, who was playing his second straight tournament in Asia, combining a family holiday with some golf.
Last weekend at the Singapore Open he finished 16 strokes off the pace.
Mickelson was leading on Sunday by three after 11 holes, but dropped four shots on 12, 13 and 15. On 15, his bogey and Fisher's 3-foot birdie gave the Englishman a two-stroke lead with three holes to play.
Mickelson got one shot back with a birdie on the 16th. On 18, despite hitting his second shot into the water, he still had a chance to win it on the par-5 final hole.
But a 10-foot putt for par - which would have left the American alone at 11 under - slipped just by. He finished with a 76 - 10 under for the tournament.
Fisher, ranked Number 141, went to 18 with a one-stroke lead over Mickelson. Trying to reach the par-5, 538-yard hole in two, he landed his shot in deep rough to the left of the green.
He chipped his third onto the green, but it bounced off and into lateral water. He took a penalty drop and needed a chip and two putts for a double bogey to finish on a 2-over 74.
Westwood, who was nine behind overnight leader Mickelson when the day began, ran in six birdies on the back nine - and missed two other opportunities on 17 and 18.
He finished with a 67 - also 10 under - and was in the clubhouse relaxing when he was called back for the playoff.
On the first playoff hole, Fisher missed an 8-foot birdie attempt at 18 that would have won the tournament. Westwood and Mickelson missed longer birdie attempts.