Phil Mickelson goes wire to wire in Phoenix

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Phil Mickelson completed a wire-to-wire victory in the Phoenix Open, again flirting with history in a dominating run at TPC Scottsdale.

Mickelson shot 4-under-par 67 Sunday to finish at 28-under 256, two strokes off the PGA Tour record of 254 set by Tommy Armour III in the 2003 Texas Open.

"It's an important one for me, because it's been a while since I won, been a while since I've been in contention," Mickelson said. "I was certainly nervous heading into today. I think the thing I'm most excited about was the way I was able to regain control of my thoughts after a few shots early on that I didn't care for."

Mickelson missed a chance for a 59 in the first round when his 25-foot birdie putt on the final hole caught the right edge of the cup, curled 180 degrees and stayed out. He settled for a 60 and followed with rounds of 65 and 64 to take a six-stroke lead into the final round.

Mickelson won after struggling the last two weeks in his season-opening events -- tying for 37th at La Quinta and 51st at Torrey Pines -- and creating some headlines by talking about his personal tax situation. He now heads to Pebble Beach for his title defense.

"I think that sets up the tone for the rest of the year, because I really started to play well," Mickelson said. "But for me, the rest of the year took a turn on Tuesday when I got my new driver. It just changed my whole deal."

Brandt Snedeker finished second, four strokes back after a 65. "Sometimes you have to tip your hat and say, 'Phil played unbelievable and deserved to win,' " Snedeker said. "That's kind of what this week was all about."

Mickelson took a three-stroke lead to the 17th tee, and nearly drove into the left-side water on the drivable par 4, his ball stopping a yard short of the hazard. He hit his 25-yard second shot 15 feet past the hole and made the birdie putt.

Mickelson parred the par-4 18th after another drive to the left, one that easily cleared the water he hit into Friday en route to a double bogey, and Snedeker closed with a bogey.

Mickelson had his third wire-to-wire victory and first since the 2006 BellSouth Classic, a 13-stroke blowout the week before the second of his three Masters victories. He pushed his victory total to 41, winning for the first time since 51 weeks ago at Pebble Beach.

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Mickelson tied the tournament scoring record set by Mark Calcavecchia in 2001, and joined Calcavecchia, Arnold Palmer and Gene Littler as the only three-time winners. With six victories in Arizona, Mickelson also matched Johnny Miller's tour record.

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