On a rollercoaster final day at Augusta National Phil Mickelson captured his third Green Jacket becoming the 2010 Masters Champion. The ‘04 and ’06 winner survived a wayward driver and at key moments through the back 9 produced a series stunning recovery shots. Birdies at 12, 13 and 15 edged the American comfortably clear of the overnight leader Lee Westwood.
For the Englishman it was yet another near miss in a career that is becoming defined by his record in the Major tournaments. In truth, Westwood played defensive golf from the start, his one under par round of 71 was solid but on a good day for scoring, not enough. He played the front nine in a one over par score of 37, allowing Mickelson to take a crucial lead heading into the back nine. Since the US Open of 2008, Westwood has finished inside the top three of each of the four Major tournaments.
For Tiger Woods, the week was bigger than just the Masters. Returning to the public eye after the scandal that broke at the end of 2009, Woods couldn’t have hoped for better reception. Through the week, the Augusta fans showed their affection for the world number one and he astonished many seasoned observers by beating the odds and finishing tied for fourth alongside the Korean KJ Choi. Where Woods will play next, not even he knows but what is for sure is that he will have tougher weeks ahead.
Phil Mickelson’s back-9 birdie run ensured a relatively comfortable passage through the final three holes. His birdie at the 18th capped an emotional end to one of the most captivating Masters of recent times.