Stewart Cink had a birthday to forget, coughing up the lead over the final four holes to allow Phil Mickelson win the Colonial golf tournament.
Mickelson finished his seven-under-par 63 with a 35-foot birdie at the 18th hole, his fifth birdie on the back nine, then watched from the clubhouse as Cink bogeyed 15 and 17 to fall a stroke off the pace.
"It was a weird finish, to have been finished, watching the tournament on television and still be in it," Mickelson said. "It was a very weird feeling."
Needing to sink a chip on the 72nd hole, Cink came up seven feet short, sealing his fate. Cink, who turned 27 on Sunday, entered the round with a three-stroke lead over Davis Love but carded a one-over 71.
"What he was doing really wasn't affecting what I was doing," Cink said of Mickelson's run. "I just didn't feel very good on the greens on the last few holes. Unfortunately, it wasn't a good time to do that."
Cink was seeking his second title of the year after winning the MCI Classic last month. He also was trying to become the second straight player to win this event on his birthday after Olin Browne did it last year.
"I feel good about the way I played this week," Cink said. "Only one player in the field was able to beat me -- two if you count myself."
Mickelson rebounded from last week's disappointing three-way playoff loss at the Byron Nelson Classic, finishing at 12-under 268 to claim his third title of the year, tying Tiger Woods for the PGA Tour lead.
"To have won this tournament is an amazing feeling," he said. "I can't explain how good it feels right now to have won this championship and to have shot a low round, to have done it, to have caught Stewart. And I didn't think at the turn that it was going to be possible."
With the first-prize check of $594,000 Mickelson moved into second place behind Woods on the money list with $2,355,264 -- Texas (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)