Mickelson beats Woods

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/g/golfgeneric1.jpg' class='caption'> Phil Mickelson outplayed Tiger Woods on the front nine and closed with a 5-under 66 Monday to win the Deutsche Bank Championship by two shots.

Updated: September 06, 2007 11:20 IST
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Phil Mickelson outplayed Tiger Woods on the front nine and closed with a 5-under 66 Monday to win the Deutsche Bank Championship by two shots.

It was the first victory for Mickelson since The Players Championship in May, after which he injured his wrist an lost much of the summer on the US golf tour.

Woods had only two birdies on the front and then made the turn with a bogey-5, putting him four shots behind Mickelson starting the final nine holes.

He wound up with a 67 and tied for second with Arron Oberholser (69) and Brett Wetterich (70).

Mickelson finished at 16-under 268 and earned $1.26 million, moving him atop the standings in the US PGA Tour Playoffs.

But after dispatching of Woods, Mickelson picked his next battle with US PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem.

He said he might not play next week outside Chicago at the BMW Championship, saying he owed it to the tour but that Finchem had not fulfilled some requests that Mickelson has made. He did not elaborate.

Mickelson, who moved back to No 2 in the world ranking with his 32nd career victory, took only 23 putts in the final round and built a five-shot lead at the turn. Woods had ample opportunity to close the gap, especially when Mickelson took double bogey on the 12th hole, but he never got closer than two shots.

Mickelson matched his birdie on the 16th to stay two ahead, Woods missed from 10 feet on the 17th, and Lefty effectively locked up the victory with his chip from behind the 18th green to 4 feet for his final birdie.

"Unfortunately, I just didn't make enough putts to really push him," Woods said.

Wetterich started the final round with a one-shot lead and didn't make a birdie until the 16th hole. His birdie on the last hole gave him enough points to move up 29 spots to No 22, giving him an excellent shot at making the Tour Championship.

Oberholser was within one shot of Mickelson most of the back nine, but he needed an eagle on the final hole to force a playoff, then missed a 10-foot birdie putt when the tournament was sealed.

He moved up to No 29 in the playoff standings; had he made the birdie putt, he would have gone to No 20 and clinched a spot at East Lake for the Tour Championship.

John Mallinger and Bo Van Pelt moved into the top 70 to advance to the third round next week in Chicago.

Woods twice was in position to apply some pressure on Mickelson and failed both times. Woods had a 15-foot eagle putt on the par-5 second hole that he left short, and a 65-foot eagle putt on the 298-yard fourth hole that he three-putted for par.

Mickelson, who matched Woods' birdie at No. 2 with a nifty pitch, hit his bunker shot on No. 4 just onto the fringe about 15 feet away and made that for birdie. Mickelson stretched his margin over Woods to three shots with an approach on No. 5 into about 4 feet.

Woods fell five shots behind after 10, and even when he had an opportunity to reduce the gap, he failed to capitalize.

Despite holding a three-shot lead over Oberholser, and still five over Woods, Mickelson went at the flag on No. 12 and came up short into the hazard. Mickelson chipped up to 5 feet and missed to make double bogey. Woods had a chance to make it a three-shot swing, but his 15-foot birdie was well off line.

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