Mickelson relieved after ending drought

Phil Mickelson was relieved to finally end his long wait for a win and believes his WGC-Mexico Championship success eases the pressure.

The American overcame Justin Thomas on the first play-off hole in Mexico on Sunday for his first win since 2013.

Mickelson, 47, has enjoyed a fine start to 2018, which includes four top-six finishes in six starts.

But the five-time major champion and 43-time winner on the PGA Tour was glad to return to winning ways, saying it would free him up.

"It means a lot to have this type of validation after having such a long go," Mickelson told the Golf Channel.

"It actually frees me up a little bit, eases some of the pressure and anxiety of trying to break through.

"Once you've done it, it just feels a lot easier and I knew that my game was there, I was trying to take the pressure off knowing that it was going to happen soon but until it actually does, you don't know it and to have this type of validation after having struggled for the last four years, it's been a tough go."

Mickelson only managed five top-10 finishes last year, a tally he has almost matched already in 2018.

While he was hungry for a win, Mickelson said he knew how good his competitors were.

"It's extremely frustrating when you know you're capable of a certain level of performance and you're not achieving it so it was the frustration that was difficult, but I really enjoyed the challenge," he said.

"I appreciate and understand how great these players are - how great Justin Thomas is, shooting 16 under over two rounds on the weekend is just phenomenal.

"I know how good Jordan Spieth is and how great these young players are, but it's a fun challenge and to finally get a little taste of success means a lot."

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