Mickelson and Woods capture Tour Champs and FedEx Cup honours

The biggest stars of the PGA Tour were its biggest winners over the weekend.

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson shared the honours after The Tour Championship in East Lake – Woods winning the FedEx Cup and Mickelson coming up trumps in the tournament itself.

Woods finished second to Mickelson in the tournament – three shots behind – but finished on top of the FedEx Cup standings to snare the $10 million prize that comes with it.

It was a reverse situation in the tournament with Mickelson shooting a five-under-par 65 in the final round for a total of nine-under 271. Woods was second on 274 after his closing 70, having led at the half-way stage.

Mickelson collected $1.35 million for winning the tournament in addition to £3 million for finishing second in the four-tournament FedEx Cup series.

The left-handed golfer, who had a difficult year personally when his wife and mother were diagnosed with breast cancer during the spring, joked about earning less money than Woods despite winning. He said:

“Let me see if I get this straight, I shot 65 and he shot 70, and he gets a check for $10 million … no, I’m just kidding. I didn’t play well in the first three events to give myself a chance.”

For Woods, the tournament was always more important than the overall series title. He figured the FedEx Cup would take care of itself if you put the numbers up. Said Woods:

“Phil played well. He did the things he needed to do this week. Unfortunately, I didn’t putt well, and consequently, I didn’t push him. Phil ran off and got away from us.”

In third place was Sean O’Hair, who finished with a 69 for 275 with two-time British Open champion Padraig Harrington and Kenny Perry sharing fourth place on 276.

Harrington, who has shown fine form in the latter half of the season, made 69 in his final round while Perry, who at one point appeared headed for both tournament and FedEx Cup win, settled for 74.

One-time series leader Steve Stricker was sixth on 277 while Jim Furyk and Steve Marino tied for seventh on 278. South African Ernie Els was ninth on 279.

Mickelson’s victory was reminiscent of his 2000 Tour Championship triumph when he also fought back in the final round to beat Woods.

After birdies on the third and fourth, he took a share of the lead on the eight with a tap-in birdie. A bogey-free round meant he was primed for victory. Woods’ only one-putt birdie was a 35-footer on the 16th.

Meanwhile, Great Britain and Ireland continued their domination of The Vivendi Trophy with Seve Ballesteros as they beat Continental Europe for their fifth straight victory in the Ryder Cup-style team event in Paris.

The British Isles won 16 ½ to 11 ½ — the third year in a row it finished with this score – with Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy completing the victory when he beat world number five Henrik Stenson on the final green.

The Europeans, however, won the singles tussle 6-4 but it was not enough to prevent GB & Ireland from victory following their impressive performances over the first two days.

GB & Ireland were captained by Paul McGinley while Thomas Bjorn was in charge of the Continental Europeans.

The tournament is named after Spanish great Ballesteros, who is still recovering from multiple surgery to remove a cancerous brain tumour.

However, he did send a message to the players and congratulated the winners. He said on the European Tour’s website:

“I wish I could have been there today, at Saint-Nom-la-Bretèche, but I don’t have enough strength at the moment as my radiotherapy treatment finished last week, and I am suffering its consequences. I have followed the matches on TV and I was very happy to see competitive golf and great champions trying their best.

“I want to thank The European Tour, and all the French fans that went to watch the competition. Finally I want to thank all the people that are supporting me and sending me many messages of support, these really help me to keep going.”

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