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Mickelson picks up first tour win since 2013
Phil Mickelson is rounding into form ahead of Augusta.
By Dylan Dethier
Friday, March 23, 2018

The spectators following Phil Mickelson's match with Satoshi Kodaira saw a dramatic comeback victory: after going 4 down on the front nine, Mickelson won the last three holes for a 1-up victory. But Mickelson himself saw the result a different way.

"I didn't have great energy," Mickelson said after the match. "I was fortunate to turn it around in the end, but I'm not real happy with the way I came out and wasn't real positive and wasn't really focused."

Coming off a 3&2 first-round defeat at the hands of Charles Howell III, Mickelson needed a victory against Kodaira to give himself a chance to advance out of pool play. But despite making just one bogey, Mickelson found himself 4 down through seven holes and was displeased with his effort.

"I'm a little disappointed in my attitude. I'm walking with my head down. And you know what happens when you walk with your head down, animals, they get eaten."

Mickelson was 2 down standing on the 16th tee, but had a tap-in birdie and watched Kodaira's effort to match slide by. He made an eight-footer for par on 17, which was good enough to win the hole when Kodaira failed to get up and down from the bunker. But he still needed a birdie at the closing hole to take the match outright, and converted from just inside eight feet, sealing the 1-up win with a subtle fist pump.

He had no interest in patting himself on the back afterwards, however. "I've got to get more aggressive," he said. "The back nine I did, the back nine I made five birdies and got lucky. It's not a match I should have won, but I was lucky there in the end."

Mickelson now needs to beat Rafa Cabrera-Bello and hope Howell loses to have a shot at coming out of the pool. His match went off at 10:14 a.m.

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