Mickelson impresses in Masters warmup

Associated Press
Published April 3, 2006

DULUTH, Ga. - After posting the lowest total of his career and finishing with the fourth-best score in relation to par in PGA Tour history, Phil Mickelson faced a big question:

Does he have anything left for the Masters?

For those who chased Mickelson in the BellSouth Classic, the answer was daunting.

"It was a great week, don't get me wrong, but I didn't feel like it couldn't be repeated," he said.

"I don't feel like I don't have more made putts or more iron shots in me or more drives in the fairway. I feel like I'm starting to play well. ... I expect to do the same, or I hope to do the same, at least."

Mickelson made a 24-foot eagle putt on No. 18 to cap his wire-to-wire victory Sunday with a score worthy of being remembered as more than just a Masters momentum-builder.

Mickelson's final-round 65 gave him a 28-under 260 total - a tournament record and personal mark - and a 13-stroke win. Andy Bean (1979) and Dave Barr (1987) had 265 totals in the BellSouth. Mickelson's previous low 72-hole total in any tournament was 262 in the 2004 Bob Hope Classic.

Mickelson was three strokes away from the PGA Tour-record 31 under by Ernie Els in the 2003 Mercedes Championship on a par-73 course.

NATIONWIDE: Tripp Isenhour moved within a victory of a promotion to the PGA Tour, winning the Livermore Valley Wine Country Championship in Livermore, Calif. for his second title of the season. Isenhour, 37, closed with a 4-under 68 to finish at 9-under 279.

CHAMPIONS: Morris Hatalsky closed at 2-under 70 for a one-stroke win over Scott Simpson in the Blue Agave Golf Classic in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.