Phil Mickelson targets Masters after WGC-Mexico win

Phil Mickelson is back in the top 20 and aiming to be the oldest winner in Masters history

Phil Mickelson is back in the top 20 and aiming to be the oldest winner in Masters history

Phil Mickelson knew this was coming, even when he had so little to show for it.

Mickelson, chasing his first title since the 2013 British Open, arrived in Mexico buoyed by three straight top-10 finishes. In more than two decades on the PGA Tour, he had gone only two seasons without winning.

There was more frustration than self-doubt.

Mickelson could perhaps be excused for not recognising Sharma, who has never played in the United States.

"I was very proud with the way I played and to finish top-five in the World Golf Championships is always the best". "And this isn't either".

Justin Thomas reacts after making an eagle on the 18th hole at the WGC Championship.

Three groups ahead of him, Justin Thomas delivered the shot of the tournament.

Thomas' 62-64 included an eagle hole out from 120 yards on Par-4 18th.

"It's extremely frustrating when you know you're capable of a certain level of performance and you're not achieving it so it was the frustration that was hard, but I really enjoyed the challenge", he said.

"Just playing with him has been fantastic".

And that's what he did. That's when he saw the score, and he followed with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 15th and a 20-foot birdie on the 16th.

Sharma, leading by two to start the day, made a quick start with three birdies in his first six holes. Mickelson's 18-foot birdie putt rimmed around the edge of the cup, and Thomas missed his par from just inside 10 feet.

The sudden-death playoff ended quickly. Thomas hit his tee shot slightly past the green, chunking his chip shot and missing a long par putt. Mickelson hit the green, narrowly missed the birdie putt and walked off a victor - finally - when Thomas missed his putt.

"If you would have told me I'd be in a playoff after two rounds, I would have told you you were lying", Thomas, who has won seven PGA Tour titles in his last 32 starts, told NBC.

Mickelson took interest in Thomas before he even reached the PGA Tour. While he was hungry for a win, Mickelson said he knew how good his competitors were.

Sharma would also be the first player to win on his PGA Tour debut since Jim Benepe at the 1988 Western Open, eight years before the Indian was born.

"I don't really want to think about it", Sharma said.

The more pertinent number might be 48. Hatton carded a 64 to join the group sharing second while the 43-year-old Mickelson posted a bogey-free 65.

But the five-time major champion and 43-time victor on the PGA Tour was glad to return to winning ways, saying it would free him up.

Mickelson made good on his pledge earlier this year that more victories were in store for him. Rather, he was inspired by staying up all night to watch Rory McIlroy win the 2011 U.S. Open. "I just felt like nothing went in".

For now, the focus is on the Masters and a chance to add a fourth green jacket. It's been a tough go the last four years, not playing my best, but to have the belief that I was going to get there and to finally break through and do it was incredible.

"I don't think this is the peak", he said.

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