American clinches third Green Jacket with superb final round as Englishman proves nearly-man again
PHIL Mickelson produced a magical five-under-par final round to earn a third Masters title and prolong Englishman Lee Westwood’s major title heartache.
Mickelson started the day one shot behind overnight leader Westwood but the American overhauled him to deservedly snatch the fabled Green Jacket.
World No3 Mickelson finished on 16 under par, three shots clear of nearest challenger Westwood, who has finished third, third and second in his last three majors.
American Anthony Kim was a further stroke adrift on 12 under, with the returning Tiger Woods and Korean KJ Choi joint fourth, another shot behind.
“It feels incredible,” said Mickelson, who also triumphed at Augusta in 2004 and 2006. “I could go on and on about why, but to win this tournament is a special, special day. It’s something I’ll always cherish.”
Westwood trailed Mickelson by one at the turn and was only two behind going into the final hole, but could only make par while the left-hander sealed victory with a birdie.
“It wasn’t that rough a day, it was quite enjoyable out there,” said Westwood. “We both struggled off the tee but Phil hit some great shots like the champion he is. One of these days the door’s just going to open for me. I just need to keep doing what I’m doing.”
Mickelson’s outstanding moment of a brilliant final 18 holes came at the 13th, where he pitched his second shot from behind a tree and on the pine needles onto the green to set up an eagle chance.
Although he only made a birdie, it kept him two ahead of Westwood and averted a potentially far more difficult situation.
Frustrated Woods plans more time off
WORLD No1 Tiger Woods plans to take another break after enduring a disappointing finish to his comeback tournament.
Woods, who missed almost five months following a sex scandal, failed to mount the challenge promised by his first day’s performance and ended five shots behind winner Phil Mickelson.
“I finished fourth. It’s not what I wanted,” he said. “I wanted to win and as this week went on I played worse. I’m going to take a little time off and evaluate where I go from here.”
Woods brushed off criticism for loudly admonishing himself for some of his shots but , saying: “I think people are making way too big a deal.”