Masters 2012 Leaderboard: Phil Mickelson Must Dominate Augusta to Win

Jeff ChaseSenior Analyst IIApril 8, 2012

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 07:  Phil Mickelson of the United States reacts after completing the third round of the 2012 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2012 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Phil Mickelson has been getting better and better each day at the Masters, but Lefty doesn't have a shot to win it all unless he continues to score far under par.

Mickelson started out the tournament two-over, but he has since turned things around by posting scores of 68 on Day 2 and 66 on Day 3. That has taken him from two-over following the first round to his current second place on the leaderboard at eight-under.

Lefty is looking incredibly strong here going into the last day of the Masters, but he can't let off even a little if he plans to add a fourth green jacket to his closet.

He is one of a few golfers who have continually lowered their scores here with each round, but he has to watch out for guys like Peter Hanson, who currently sits above him at nine-under after posting a ridiculous 65 on Day 3.

The one thing that will keep him alive is avoiding an implosion. While his eight-under isn't enough to steadily keep him atop the leaderboard, it is a lack of birdies accompanied with bogeys throughout that will kill his final day.

There are plenty of players who can continue to work their way up the board, especially guys like Lee Westwood, who currently sits at four-under, or even Fred Couples, who sits at two-under through six thus far on the final day.

If Mickelson can capitalize, as well as taking advantage of knowing how the field looks, he will have to hope that his experience and expertise of Augusta will carry him through to yet another major title.


Jeff Chase is a Featured Columnist for the Chicago Cubs and Arizona State football.