Phil Mickelson wins Masters

Monday, April 10, 2006

Phil Mickelson at the TPC at Sawgrass

Yesterday in Augusta, Georgia at Augusta National Golf Club, American Phil Mickelson won the 70th Masters with a final round score of 69 and a four round total score of 281, seven under par and two strokes better than South African Tim Clark, the sole second place finisher. This was Mickelson's second consecutive major as well as his second green jacket. In a five-way tie for third place at four under par were José María Olazábal, Retief Goosen, Tiger Woods, Chad Campbell, and Fred Couples. Rounding out the top ten were eighth place finishers Angel Cabrera and Vijay Singh followed by Stewart Cink in tenth place.

Although Mickelson had to fire up during the last few holes to take the '04 Masters over Ernie Els, nothing of that sort was required during Sunday's round. He parred the first six holes before making two straight birdies at 7 and 8, and then went on to make two more at 13 and 15 before finishing off with a bogey at 18. Last year, Mickelson put Tiger's jacket on for him. This year, Tiger helped Phil into the jacket. "I certainly enjoyed having the jacket put on me," Mickelson said. "I love the chance to compete against guys like Tiger, guys like Retief and Ernie and Vijay and Fred who are playing so well. It gives me an incredible feeling of accomplishment to be able to come out on top this week." After 42 straight misses at majors, Mickelson is now on track with one major per year for the past three years.

Playing partner Fred Couples nearly got within one stroke of Mickelson but went on to miss the birdie putt and another par putt to sink out of contention. Putting was also Tiger Woods's major hindrance. He made three three-putts and had an overall total of 33 putts with a final round of 70. Afterwards, Woods remarked, "It was frustrating. I felt in control of my golf swing from tee to green. Once I got on the green, I was a spaz. I didn't have it all day - even this morning (in the third round) I didn't putt well." Clark capped off a great run and a final round 69 with a chip-in from the sand at 18 for a birdie. Clark moved to number 15 on the Official World Golf Rankings, Woods stayed at number 1, Couples moved to 21st, and Mickelson moved up to 2nd.