Monday, April 12, 2010
Mickelson wins third Masters
Her husband had not looked the same ever since.
A shattered world seemed at peace in the fading sunlight Sunday at the Masters, where Mickelson made one last birdie for a 5-under 67 to capture his third green jacket with a three-shot victory over Lee Westwood.
The outcome was never in doubt when he arrived on the 18th green. The conclusion was more emotional than anyone expected.
"I wasn't sure if she was going to be there," Mickelson said.
He shared a long embrace with his wife behind the 18th green, and as he walked to the scoring trailer to sign for the lowest score at Augusta in nine years, a single tear trickled down his cheek to his lip.
"We've been through a lot this year. It means a lot to share some joy together," Mickelson said at the green jacket ceremony, his voice cracking as he struggled to keep control. "It's been such an incredible week, an emotional week. And to cap it off with a victory is something I can't put into words.
"It's something we'll share for the rest of our lives."
Determined to win one for his family, Mickelson made two remarkable par saves from the trees, seized control with a 15-foot birdie putt in the heart of Amen Corner and then made a gutsy play with a 6-iron off the pine straw and over Rae's Creek on the par-5 13th to set up a birdie. It was a daring shot, the kind that has brought Lefty so much criticism for taking on too much.
There was simply no denying him in this Masters.
His final birdie only mattered on the scorecard, 16-under 272, the lowest by a Masters champion since Tiger Woods in 2001. Mickelson had this won as he walked up the 18th fairway to a massive ovation. He raised both arms when the putt fell, had a long embrace with caddie Jim "Bones" Mackay, then walked toward the scoring hut and into his wife's arms.
Standing behind them was Mary Mickelson, his mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in July.
So ended a Masters unlike any other.