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Thrilling to see veteran Phil the gap.

Byline: GARY MURPHY

LAST week served up one of the WGC we've ever witnessed.

Phil Mickelson proved age is just a number with a brilliant play-off victory at 47 - four years and 101 tournaments after his last win on Tour.

It was a magnificent finale as he emerged from a play-off with Justin Thomas, who had looked dead and buried by Friday night.

There were so many storylines playing out and it whetted the appetite for what lies ahead in the coming weeks and months.

After I tipped him at 175/1 each way last week, Shubhankar Sharma gave our readers a great run for their money. He really presented himself on the world stage.

Inexperience tripped him up in the end. His nerves really got to him and a mindset shift was the difference.

It's what can happen when you're leading going into Sunday. He was hoping that the ball would go in rather than forcing it in.

It will be a huge learning curve that should arm him with better tools going forward.

Two things are worth noting about these big events. The quality is higher, so you do need higher levels. But equally, Sharma's level found him with the 54-hole lead.

He didn't have to improve - he just had to maintain. But the mind does like to wander and play out different scenarios.

The learning curve involved is working out how to deal with the stress of the situation. It's not physical, it's mental.

Younger players have this disadvantage and acquiring it comes at a cost.

Sharma should be hugely proud of his efforts and will rightly return home a hero.

For a kid of 21, he has a bright future.

CAPTION(S):

LEARNING CURVE Shubhankar Sharma

PRIZE & JOY Mickelson went 101 tournaments without victory

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Title Annotation:Sport; Opinion Columns
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 7, 2018
Words:298
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