JACKSONVILLE (Fla.) -- Phil Mickelson won his third career start on the PGA Tour Champions. He closed with a 4-under 68 on Sunday to win the Constellation Furyk & Friend by two shots.
Mickelson, 51, won his first major title since May's out-of-nowhere victory at Kiawah Islands' PGA Championship. Since then, he has had a difficult time on the PGA Tour and this was his first Champions event in six years.
Miguel Angel Jimenez fought Mickelson all day at the breezy Timuquana Country Club. He pulled even with birdies in the par-5 13th, where Mickelson three-putted to par, and the par-3 14. Mickelson converted a par-5 birdie to make it a win for good.
He played some great golf. He did a fantastic up-and down on 13, and his shot on 14 was very impressive. This par 3 is a tough pin. It rolls right and left of the pin. Mickelson spoke about Jimenez, saying that Jimenez "just stuck it in there tight" It was difficult, but I was grateful that I was able birdie two coming up and came out on top.
Phil Mickelson won his first Champions event since February. It was also his first win since his May surprise PGA Championship victory. Ben Jared/Getty Images
Jimenez shot a 68 and almost missed a par-4 18th green birdie that would have forced Mickelson into making his 10-foot birdie to win. Mickelson still managed to hole it for the 2-shot margin.
"On the back nine we've been there close to each other, close, close and close, tie, and he [makes] birdie on 15th, but I was very close. There's a chance to make a birdie on 17. That's the game. Jimenez stated that he is playing very well.
Mickelson was 15-under 201 when he won the first year event. He opened his senior career last year with consecutive wins in Missouri and Virginia.
Mickelson birdied three of the first holes, but he blocked his tee shot left on par-4 fifth to give Mickelson a double bogey.
He said, "You can't do that on the regular tours, you just get eaten alive. You just can't make those errors there and have a chance of competing and contending and winning." "So I like the fact that you don't need to be perfect, and I can take a few shots here and there.
Mickelson stated that he will play at least two additional tournaments on the 50+ tour this fall, in Richmond, Virginia where he is the defending champion and at the Charles Schwab Cup Championships in Phoenix.
Steve Flesch (71) came in third at 10 under. Jim Furyk, Tournament host (69), was in a tie for fourth at 9 Under with Cameron Beckman (68), and Ernie Els (71). Bernhard Langer tied for seventh at 8-under with a score of 67, which allowed the 64-year old to keep his lead in the Charles Schwab Cup standings. There are four events left.