Sunday, April 11, 2010

Mickelson's Victory May Be His Sweetest

When Phil Mickelson finally calls it a career -- and let's hope that's decades down the road -- he may look back at the 2010 Masters as the sweetest week of his golf life.

The 2004 Masters was unforgettable because it was the one that proved Mickelson could win major championships, something that his 0-for-46 streak had brought into question.

It had been four years since Mickelson had won a major and he arrived at Augusta explaining why he hadn't taken advantage of Tiger Woods' extended absence. Mickelson had been decent but he's conditioned us to expect greatness.

And he found that at the Masters.

In retrospect, you could find it in his words, before the tournament started and each day it progressed. He talked about how relaxed he felt playing Augusta National and a comfortable golfer is a dangerous one.

Mickelson didn't win the tournament on Saturday but he put his victory into motion with his eagle-eagle-birdie run starting at the 13th hole. He has always been an aggressive player but that approach separated him this week. When he ripped a 7-iron into a difficult spot at the 13th on Saturday, setting up his first eagle, it was the kind of swing and shot that makes a player start thinking that maybe this would be his week.

It was for Mickelson.

He was classic Phil, scrambling for pars at the ninth and 10th holes Sunday and when he rifled a 6-iron between the trees to within four feet of the hole at No. 13 on Sunday, he was Phil in full flight.

We may never fully know how much his wife's illness has affected him. Amy Mickelson was there Sunday afternoon when her husband won his third Masters and it couldn't have been easy.

But it looked right and I imagine it felt right to the Mickelsons and to the thousands of others who have invested themselves in Mickelson's career.

Tiger Woods is awed and admired for what he can do on the golf course. Mickelson is beloved.

Perhaps more now than ever.


Anonymous said...

Great !! Storybook ending. Good wins. Bad loses.

It is now on record. Cheater x 20 Kittycat Woods officially SUXXXXX!!

And tell Phil he better keep TW away from his wife. Shes a babe.

Anonymous said...

The facts without the strong feelings, emotion and media's good guy/bad guy references that many have bought into: PGA wins: Tiger 71, Phil 39 Majors: Tiger 14, Phil 4 Career Grand Slam: Tiger 3 times over, Phil 0 Green jackets: Tiger 4, Phil 3 US Open's: Tiger 3, Phil 0 British Open's: Tiger 3, Phil 0 PGA's: Tiger 4, Phil 1 Career earnings: No comment So congrats Phil, you're still the SECOND best player of your era - barely - as Singg and Harrington are right there with you. But you ARE the fan favorite, but not the era's winner.

Anonymous said...

To the person who left the comment at 9:17am: do you even play golf? Because to me its not - it can't be - always about the wins and the money. Is Tiger a great player? Yes, he is. There is no doubt. However, he pales in comparison to the person Phil is...who we've come to love. Golf is about wins, but its also about LOVE and RESPECT. Love and respect of the game, yourself, your peers and your fans. Tiger has none of that - at least he didn't seem to this weekend. He's lost it somewhere along his twisted path. Phil is in essence what makes this game great. He is what draws you to the game. He is why you love to watch. And why you love to play. Go Phil! Congratulations on a FANTASTIC win at Augusta!

Anonymous said...

So why would it be HIS sweetest again?? Because he kept Tiger from winning?? LOL WOW, just goes to show how it's done in AmeriKKKa........

Anonymous said...

Folk are mad at Tiger who did not commit a crime, or accused of such. But not much about Big Ben, who has been accused several times of actually breaking the law, which rape is.

Is it that Tiger cheated (like Clinton, MJ, SC Gov, Letterman, Cosby, Dr J, Jesse James)? Or who he cheated on?

Are we still mad at OJ cause of murders? Or who was murdered?

Ok, Phil now has 4 majors. Call us if he gets 10 more and wins the other 2 majors he's yet to win. Until then, he's still an underachiever for his talent.