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WORLD SPORT

Mickelson grabs second major title

SPRINGFIELD, New Jersey (Reuters) -- Phil Mickelson clinched his second major title with a one-shot victory in the weather-delayed U.S. PGA Championship at Baltusrol Golf Club on Monday.

Mickelson, one ahead with five holes left when lightning forced a suspension in final-round play on Sunday, completed a two-over 72 to finish at four-under 276.

The American left-hander, last year's U.S. Masters champion, sealed victory from Steve Elkington and Thomas Bjorn thanks to a birdie at the par-five last.

Elkington, the 1995 champion at Riviera, carded a 71 and Bjorn finished with 72 with world No. 1 Tiger Woods a further stroke back in a tie for fourth, having closed with a 68 on Sunday.

With Elkington and Bjorn in the clubhouse at three under par, Mickelson stepped on to the par-five 18th tee needing a birdie to triumph.

He drove straight down the middle and, after twice tapping the Jack Nicklaus plaque -- embedded in the fairway -- for good luck, might have hoped for better fortune when his second shot sailed right into the greenside rough.

There was no panic, however, as the ice-cool Mickelson responded with a perfect flop shot to leave him a straightforward three-foot putt for the title.

"This has been an amazing week and it has been so much fun," said a tearful Mickelson after being surrounded by his wife Amy and oldest daughters Amanda Brynn and Sophia Isabel

"To win here where Jack Nicklaus has won a couple of times on this historic golf course makes it a memorable and very special week for me.

"When I hit the second shot on 18, I knew I needed a birdie to win.

"I've struggled out of the rough this week because it's very difficult here but, for that third shot, I went in aggressive, the ball popped up beautifully, landed softly and rolled smoothly towards the hole."

The overcast, cool conditions that greeted the players on Monday were in sharp contrast to the sweltering record-breaking temperatures they endured over the first four days of the tournament.

Mickelson got his day off to a positive start when he returned to the 14th green and calmly tapped in a three-foot putt for par.

However, the 35-year-old Californian relinquished the lead when he bogeyed the par-three 16th after finding a bunker off the tee and was deadlocked with Elkington at three under.

That would be his only wobble, though. World number four Mickelson held his nerve over the closing par-fives, lipping out with his birdie attempt on 17 before securing his fourth PGA Tour win of the season and a $1.17 million winner's cheque.

The softer conditions proved tricky for Bjorn and defending champion Vijay Singh, who missed short par putts on 15 and 16 to slide down the leaderboard.

Although Bjorn recovered with a birdie on 17 to get back into the chase, Fijian Singh was never able to find his rhythm and ended his round with another bogey on 18 for a 74 and a share of 10th at even-par 280.

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