Quite an eventful week at the Augusta National Country Club, as there was added hype surrounding this year’s Masters. It was the unknown of Tiger Woods: how would he play, how would he act on the course, and how would he be received by the golf fans. Those questions were quickly answered, and then the storyline changed to the rejuvenation of Phil Mickelson. This weekend, he showed grit and determination to capture his third green jacket.
Mickelson quickly became the gallery’s favorite, as it seemed that his ball found the hole from any distance. It began on Saturday with Lefty incredibly making up five shots in just three holes. His amazing journey began with an eagle on 13, only to follow it up with another eagle on the par-4, 440 yard 14th hole, and it ended with Lefty tapping-in a birdie after narrowly missing his third consecutive eagle on the par-5, 530 yard 15th hole to gain a temporary lead of the tournament.
He arrived at Augusta with no wins on the season and a disappointing 35th place performance at the Houston Open. But Mickelson had a secret weapon in hand for this week’s tour stop, as the Masters was the first event that the entire Mickelson family travelled together since his wife and mother both received their diagnoses of breast cancer. Ultimately, the return to normalcy in his routine helped revive his play.
The PGA wanted to showcase their sport in one of the grandest settings to host a major event. Mission accomplished, as the Masters provided golf fans with memorable moments that will last the entire season.
We’ll remember the unflappable Englishman Lee Westwood maintaining steady play throughout the four days or the renaissance of Fred Couples, who gallantly tried to steal the headlines away from Lefty. And I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the high level of play from Tom Watson, as you cannot put age on his ability. Watson’s first round score of 67 was his personal best at Augusta in over 30 years.
This weekend, the roars from the gallery at Augusta sounded like no other. It’s what majors are all about because they’re so damn tough to capture. The top players are inclined to make spectacular shots because it gets the job done in winning championships. You have to be prepared for everything to be thrown at you because you never know who is lurking in the background. And for us fans, we had a great seat to witness history being made while the golfers were making their own.