2010 Masters the balance shifted. Phil captured his 3rd green jacket with a phenomenal display of bogey free, pressure golf on one of the sport's biggest stages. His 67 was the 2nd best round of the day and landed him at -16 for the tourney. Phil and his family have endured tremendous personal strife in the last year with the breast cancer battles waged by his mother and wife Amy. The couple's embrace on the 18th hole today was touching and poignant. The contrast between this and Tiger Woods' recent troubles was startling. Mickelson put his competition away with a 12th hole birdie and a "had to see to believe" 2nd shot on the par five 13th. Out of the pine straw, around a tree from 200 yards, to three feet, nothing but net. His closest pursuers at that point, Lee Westwood and KJ Choi, must have felt like they were pushing against an immovable force of nature and fate.
Westwood finished alone in second with a lackluster 71, -13. Anthony Kim's 65 vaulted him to solo 3rd. He was the clubhouse leader -12 until the final group finished. KJ Choi was in the thing until bogies on 13 and 14, doubled by Mickelson's birdies on 12 and 13, turned him into also-ran status. Tiger Woods, as he did all week, mirrored Choi's efforts and putted out at -11, tied with Choi. Woods' tee woes continued. For the life of me I'll never understand why he wouldn't at least consider hitting 3 woods off the tees. He's nearly as long with a 3 wood as most players are with their drivers. Fred Couples ended at -9, leaving us to wonder what he might have accomplished with a healthy back. Still, a stellar performance from the 50 year old who proved he can still air it out with the flat bellies. Ageless Tom Watson carded a 73 today, good enough for 18th place and -1 for the event. Final Full Field Scores.
When all is said and done the 2010 Masters was a riveting tournament with twists and lead changes galore. A cross-section of the contenders was varied in age, nationality, and personas. The weather cooperated and the course was in superb shape. Kudos to tournament officials who adjusted the set up and made the event tough, but fair. I must say this year's Masters renewed my interest.
Congratulations Phil, nice victory, worthy champion.