Turns out that Tiger Woods was just along for the ride.
Mickelson closed with 8-under-par 64, beating Woods by 11 shots on the day in a one-sided showdown at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
“I just feel very inspired when I play with him,” said Mickelson, who has posted the better score the past five times he has played alongside Woods in the final round.
“I love playing with him, and he brings out some of my best golf. I hope that he continues to play better, and better, and I hope that he and I have a chance to play together more in the final rounds.”
Woods, one shot out of the lead on the sixth hole after 54-hole leader Charlie Wi fell apart early, followed his first birdie of the final round with three consecutive bogeys, starting with a three-putt from 18 feet on the par-3 seventh.
It never got much better from there.
He finished a miserable day with another three-putt on the 18th for 75, the only consolation coming from belief that he’s closer than ever to putting it all together.
Mickelson went from six shots behind to a two-shot lead on the par-5 sixth hole when he rolled in a 20-foot eagle putt.
Woods holed a bunker shot for birdie on No. 12, but right when it looked like a two-shot swing that could give Woods some momentum, Mickelson made a 30-foot par putt. With Woods out of the way, Mickelson made a 40-foot par putt on the 15th hole to keep a three-shot cushion, and he was never challenged from there.
He wound up with a two-shot win over Wi, who four-putted for double bogey on the opening hole and never recovered.
Mickelson, who finished at 17-under 269, became only the ninth player in PGA Tour history with 40 career wins.
His wife, Amy, flew up for the weekend and gave him a pep talk Friday in the rain at Monterey Peninsula when Mickelson was going nowhere. He ran off five birdies, got back into the tournament and picked up a win he didn’t see coming.