The Masters: Tiger’s Return, Mickelson’s Victory

by Quinny McKean

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Mickelson clinches his third green jacket

After four rounds of exciting golf, Phil Mickelson clinched the 2010 Masters and claimed his third green jacket.  Lee Westwood, the leader for 54 straight holes, could not sustain the lead, letting victory slip away to Lefty.

Mickelson finished with an impressive five under par, 67 in the final round.  This score put him at 16 under for the tournament, earning a three-shot win.

This win puts Mickelson in a category with Jimmy Demaret, Gary Player, Sam Snead, and Nick Faldo, all golfers with three green jackets.  Tiger Woods and Arnold Palmer each have four, and Jack Nicklaus stands alone with his record setting number of six.

Woods finished five strokes behind Mickelson for a respectable 11 under after a long, 5-month absence from the sport.  Fans, followers, and fellow golfers were not sure what to expect of Woods after the recent scandal surrounding his marriage.  He put on a fairly good show, with four eagles (two strokes under par) on the week.  Although Tiger would have preferred the green jacket, fourth place is not an awful finish for a man recently under public scrutiny.  Tiger, however, was not satisfied with his play, stating, “I only enter events to win.”

Woods' standing throughout the week

Mickelson had three rounds of five under 67 and one round of one under 71.  Throughout these rounds, he had sixteen birdies, six bogies, three eagles, and forty-seven pars.  In seventy-two holes of golf, Mickelson did not have a series worse than a bogey.  This win was Mickelson’s strongest finish at 16 under, with his two other wins at 7 under in 2006 and 9 under in 2004.

The golf world definitely feels the jacket went to the right man considering Mickelson’s struggling family.  Both Phil’s wife and mother are currently suffering from breast cancer, and it was evident throughout Phil’s performance that he was playing for those very close to him.  After sinking a sixteen-foot putt on his final eighteenth hole, he embraced his family, shedding tears in his wife Amy’s arms.  It was an incredibly emotional victory and one that was well-deserved.

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