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Mickelson up to 3rd; Danny Lee enters top 200

Phil Mickelson retained the Northern Trust Open title, edging out Steve Stricker by one stroke after a final round of one-over-par 72. Stricker had six birdies in a four-under-par 67 but was overtaken by Mickelson who birdied 16 and 17 for his 35th career PGA victory. Mickelson held a four-stroke, third-round lead, but after starting with eagle at the opening hole dropped five shots in 13 holes before his late recovery. Mickelson jumps 2 places in the Official World Golf Ranking to 3rd.

New Zealand amateur and US Amateur Champion Danny Lee won the tri-sanctioned (European, Asian and Australasian Tours) Johnnie Walker Classic by one stroke at The Vines Resort and Country Club in Western Australia, becoming the youngest ever winner on the European Tour. The teenager carded a closing five under par 67 to finish on 17 under, one shot ahead of Ross McGowan of England, Hiroyuki Fujita of Japan and Chile's Felipe Aguilar.

Lee was 18 years and 213 days old yesterday, versus the 18 years and 290 days of Dale Hayes when he won the Spanish Open in 1971. Lee rockets 403 places up the ranking, from 562nd to 159th.

Still an amateur, Lee plans to turn professional after this year's Masters, to which he is invited as reigning US Amateur Champion. When Tiger Woods turned professional in August 1996 he was not in the world top 200, although he had reached 33rd by the end of that year.

Jaco van Zyl got up and down from a bed of roses on the par-five 18th hole of the Woodmead course of Country Club Johannesburg to win the Telkom PGA Championship. This gave him a single stroke win over Graham DeLaet from Canada and moves him up to World Number 281, an improvement of 205 spots.

February 23, 2009

 




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