Saturday, April 10, 2010

Westwood Leads; Phil One Back; Tiger Close

When the roars finally subsided near sundown Saturday at Augusta National, Lee Westwood had a one-stroke lead over Phil Mickelson entering Sunday's final round in the Masters.

Lurking four strokes behind, tied for third place, was Tiger Woods.

It was a spectacular Saturday that rollercoatered through the sunny afternoon. Westwood led Mickelson by five strokes midway through the back nine but the advantage evaporated in 30 minutes.

Mickelson gambled with an aggressive 7-iron second shot at the par-5 13th hole that set up an eight-foot eagle putt that kick-started his surge. At the 14th hole, Mickelson holed a 141-yard wedge shot for his second straight eagle, only the third time in Masters history a player has made consecutive eagles.

On a roll, Mickelson watched his 87-yard third shot miss by eight inches giving him a third straight eagle. But, coupled with Westwood's bogey at the 12th hole, it gave Mickelson a brief lead in a loud afternoon.

Westwood ultimately regained the lead with a birdie at the 15th hole and will have a chance on Sunday to win his first major championship. Westwood has posted rounds of 67-69-68.

Mickelson has three majors, including the 2004 and 2006 Masters, but he has not won a major when starting the final round trailing.

Woods, meanwhile, had an up and down day. He made two quick birdies but three bogeys in a four-hole stretch on the front side dropped him back. Woods made three straight birdies on the back nine, bogeyed the 17th, then closed with a short birdie at the 18th hole, keeping him within striking distance of the leaders.


Anonymous said...

Do you think Tiger will ever grow up to be a real man? His language makes me doubt it. He needs to take mistakes in stride or find a different sport.

Anonymous said...

Although he came out strong I think Tiger is done for this tourney. He's too far behind and he lost his head on the back 9 yesterday. He'll be back on track before too long.

Coulwoodwarlord said...

In response to (Anonymous).
Although his langauge may represent a character flaw, it also represents a dissatisfaction with failure. I do not condone it, but I understand that it is part of his makeup. If Mickelson had a little more rage, Tiger may not have 14 majors to his credit. In the end, it has little to do with being a real man. Outbursts are one thing, complete loss of composure is another.

As for 4 strokes being to far back, are you kidding me? He may lose the tourney, but it won't be because he's four back at the start of the day. Four strokes evaporate routinely in major tournaments. As far as him being back on track, this is golf's grandest stage, he's already back.