Phil Mickelson signs off with  Atlanta win but Tiger Woods cashes in by being crowned FedEx champion

A relieved Phil Mickelson ended a difficult year away from golf on a high with his Tour Championship victory in Georgia but Tiger Woods was the biggest winner as he took a $10million bonus as the season-long FedEx Cup champion.

Phil Mickelson

I've done it: Phil Mickelson gets ready to start his celebrations

Mickelson, who had opened the week with a three-over-par 73, began the day at four under par, four behind overnight leader Kenny Perry and two behind world number one Woods.

But he eclipsed both men with a five-under-par round of 65 at Atlanta's East Lake Golf Club to claim the $1.35m first prize.

Woods shot a level-par 70 to claim second place as Perry fell away with a 74 and his runner-up finish was good enough to maintain his lead in the FedEx Cup standings at the end of a PGA Tour season which saw him win six times having returned to the game in February after eight months out following reconstructive knee surgery.

The victory propelled Mickelson from 14th to second in the FedEx Cup standings and with it a $3m bonus.

It was his first win since taking the WGC-CA Championship at Doral in March and since wife Amy was diagnosed with breast cancer, a situation that saw the left-hander take time off in mid-summer as she began treatment. It was during that time that Mickelson's mother was also diagnosed with breast cancer.

'It really feels great to have won,' Mickelson said. 'It's been a frustrating go the last few months and so to be able to come out and get somewhat in contention on a Sunday, four back, and then to be able to put together this round feels terrific.

'This wasn't a banner year but this certainly makes it a better year than it was.'

Tiger Woods of the USA (R) stands with his caddy Steve Williams

Dynamic duo: Tiger Woods with his caddy Steve Williams

Mickelson also joked about leaving East Lake with less money than his great rival Woods.

'I don't know if I understand this right but I shot 65 and Tiger shot 69 and he gets a cheque for 10 million? I'm just kidding, I really enjoyed playing in the four FedEx Cup events.

'I didn't play well enough in the first three to give myself a chance and that's what is cool about the play-offs. You've got to play well throughout the play-offs and for me, even though I didn't win the FedEx Cup, I won the last event of the year, I feel great about my game.'

Woods, while failing to win a major, took the FedEx Cup for the second time and said: 'The whole idea is to be consistent for the entire season and try and position yourself for the play-offs.

'This year I've played well, I've been very consistent and when I didn't win I was in the top 10 so I kept accumulating the points.

'I've played pretty good in the play-offs and been very consistent but I wish I could have got a few more Ws this year.'

Sean O'Hair was third at five under with Perry sharing fourth place with Padraig Harrington, the Irishman securing his sixth consecutive top-10 finish after a miserable first seven months of the season.

Mickelson and woods

Both winners: Phil Mickelson, left, with The Tour Championship and Tiger Woods, winner of the FedEx Cup

Mickelson was the man to capitalise on Perry's stumble, narrowing the lead to one shot with birdies at the third and fourth and pulling level with Perry at the eighth after sending his approach shot from 123 yards to inside two feet for birdie.

Mickelson, using a new stroke with a wide stance, was also putting superbly and he rolled in his 19th birdie of the week at the par-five ninth with his seventh one-putt in a row, downhill from 12 feet to take the outright lead at eight under.

Woods, at five under par, and in a tie for third with Sean O'Hair, after nine holes, and Steve Marino, after 10, was still in control of his FedEx Cup lead.

He parred his way through the rest of the front nine knowing Mickelson's surge was helping him also in keeping Perry at bay.

Mickelson all but secured victory when he chipped in for a birdie at the 16th to go to nine under but Woods still had work to do after he fell to four under with a bogey at the par-four 13th where Perry imploded with a double bogey.

World number two Steve Stricker, also second in the standings, was breathing down Woods' neck in the FedEx Cup race having got to four under with a birdie but his challenge disappeared with bogeys at the 16th and 17th.

Now it was all down to Woods and birdies at 15 and 16 moved him clear into second.

Luke Donald finished his Tour Championship on a high with his first under-par round of the week, a 69 to finish at eight over par.

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