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'Bomoh' could have helped Phil


THREE-HOUR DELAY: Bad weather spoils it for Mickleson who finished joint 20th

IS there a bomoh (shaman) around?"    This question was posed not by a Malaysian fan but a relaxed Phil Mickelson (pic) tongue-in-cheek when play was suspended due to bad weather when the American was about to tee off at the 16th yesterday.

Fortunately, Mickelson was back after three hours to complete his round of two over 74 for an overall four-day total of five under 283. He failed to produce his now famous final round surge. Mickelson's title chances effectively took a dive when he double bogeyed the par five fifth and 13th before compensating that with his sole birdie on the 16th to be placed joint 20th in this year's CIMB Classic. Despite his only above par round, Mickelson was happy that his swing, which had troubled him since the first round, had improved yesterday.

"Today (yesterday), despite the score, was the best I hit and the best the swing felt. Unfortunately the score today didn't reflect the fact that I played a lot better than the first three rounds, but I have something to build on now for next week," said Mickelson, the World No 3.

"I actually feel like I have some direction heading into this week's HSBC Champions in Shanghai, and I'm looking forward to playing it."

Mickelson also had some fine words for Thailand's Kiradech Aphibanrat who finished joint-third alongside Chris Stroud of the US.

"I have had a chance to play with him a few times. He's really a good player, and he hits the ball a long way. His greatest strength is his hands, his ability to hit wedges and shots around the greens," said Mickelson.

"I think that's certainly a strong point, and so it doesn't surprise me seeing him play well."

Mickelson is looking forward to a strong finish in this week's HCBC Champions in Shanghai and will start working on his swing during the off season.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin watching the final round of the CIMB Classic with group chief executive of CIMB Group Datuk Seri Nazir Razak and CIMB group chairman Tan Sri Md Nor Yusof at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club yesterday. Pic by Goh Thean Howe

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