Mickelson wins Masters while Tiger shares fourth
US star Phil Mickelson won his third Masters title and fourth major crown in dramatic fashion on today while Tiger Woods could only ponder his mistakes and wonder what might have been.
Mickelson fired three birdies in four holes starting at the par-three 12th and hit an epic approach at 13, his view of the green blocked by a tree, on the way to a bogey-free five-under par 67 and a three-stroke victory over Lee Westwood.
The 39-year-old left-hander finished 72 holes on 16-under par 272 with Englishman Westwood settling for second, his best major finish, by a stroke over American Anthony Kim with Woods and South Korean K.J. Choi fourth on 277.
Mickelson claimed a share of fourth on the all-time Augusta National Golf Club win list, half the record total of Jack Nicklaus and one shy of Woods and Arnold Palmer.
Mickelson, wearing a pink anti-cancer ribbon on his cap, shared a tearful hug with wife Amy behind the 18th green as the crowd cheered with joy. She had been bed-ridden all week in her first travel to an event in 11 months.
The contrast was stark between fan favorite Mickelson, who took time away from golf to be with wife Amy and his mother as they fight breast cancer, and Woods, whose layoff came after a humiliating betrayal of wife Elin, with more than a dozen women claiming sexual affairs with him.
Kim, who began the day seven strokes off the pace, fired a final-round 65 to put himself in the hunt, hitting back-to-back birdies at 13 and 14, making eagle at 15 and another birdie at 16.
Mickelson, who eagled the par-five 13th and par-four 14th and barely settled for birdie at the par-five 15th in round three, birdied the 12th for a one-stroke lead but then landed his tee shot Sunday at 13 in the trees.
Mickelson’s ball had a path to the green but the shot left him standing behind a tree. Mickelson blasted the ball 205 yards off the pine needles and just three feet from the cup.
While he missed the eagle putt, the birdie put Mickelson two atop Kim and playing partner Lee Westwood of England. Another birdie at the 15th gave Mickelson a three-stroke edge.
Westwood made a birdie at 17 to keep the pressure on until the final hole but Mickelson birdied the last to complete the emotional triumph.
Fred Couples, trying to become the oldest major winner at age 50, fired a 70 and settled for sixth on 279.© AFP 2013
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