Phil Mickelson has successfully captured his third Masters crown, as he moves into the record books as just the fifth man to hold that title.
Lefty shot a five-under-67 en route to his latest green jacket, holding off the likes of Lee Westwood, Anthony Kim, K.J. Choi, and Tiger Woods in the process. He finished at 16-under for the tournament.
Mickelson had remained in the hunt throughout the week, as he entered Sunday’s final round in the pairing with the aforementioned Westwood. With three rounds of 67 and one round of 71, this year’s Masters appears to be his most impressive yet.
Adding to the dramatics, was the storyline of his family’s hardships. Phil’s wife Amy and his mother Mary both have been battling breast cancer over the past year.
The left-hander’s other two Masters victories came in 2004 and 2006. Only Arnold Palmer, Tiger Woods, and Jack Nicklaus have won more.
England’s Lee Westwood entered the day with a one stroke lead, but the strong play of Mickelson forced much pressure. Westwood nailed a key birdie putt on 17 to move within two strokes, but ultimately could not overcome the deficit in beating Phil. He finished the round at one-under.
Anthony Kim, the 24-year-old phenom, solidified his status as one of golf’s most promising players with a tremendous 65 in the final round. His pin-point shots, alongside spectacular putting, were judgmental in his strong finish. Many believe there is little doubt that he will eventually win a major, and Sunday’s performance proves why.
Coming into the tournament, the biggest storyline had been the return of the No. 1 player in the world, Tiger Woods. Despite bogeying his first two holes, Tiger triumphed back with an eagle on seven. He ultimately finished with a strong 69, leaving him tied with K.J. Choi for eleven-under for the tournament.
When asked when he would play next, Tiger stated he would “take some time and re-evaluate his performance.”
While many others triumphed, the first major of 2010 falls to Phil Mickelson. As CBS commentators put it best: “This is Phil Mickelson’s Masters.”
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