Westwood’s time will come

Sam Torrance
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WELL, he’s getting closer but Lee Westwood is certainly being made to work in his quest for a first major title.

Westwood played beautifully all week but just didn’t quite do enough on the final day to hold off the resurgent Phil Mickelson, who, in the end, was a worthy winner of the best Masters I have ever had the pleasure of attending.

Winning majors is a progression, it doesn’t just fall at your lap, and sadly for Lee, with his third at the Open and US PGA last year and his second place here at Augusta, he’s endured the ultimate progression.

But rest assured, Lee will be all the better from his experiences and he certainly has the game to finally bag that elusive major.

Mickelson was fantastic in the final round, pegging back Westwood early and capitalising on Lee’s horror bogey on nine with incredible pars at 9, 10 and 11 and then that magnificent iron shot from behind the tree at 13.

For Mickelson, this was an emotional victory, dedicating it to his wife who has been battling breast cancer, and he did her proud with a fantastic performance.

You can guarantee also that Phil will have relished beating old rival Tiger Woods in his first tournament for five months.

Tiger showed glimpses of his former brilliant self, but clearly suffered with a lack of match practice and would have been disappointed with his fourth place finish.

His first five tee shots typified a poor final round, yet the fact he still managed to card a 69 shows just what a great player he is.

Another lasting memory I’ll take from Augusta is the performance of the old brigade.

Fred Couples took his magnificent form from the Challenge Tour onto the biggest stage of them all, while Tom Watson’s opening round 67, at the ripe age of 60, was an unbelievable achievement.