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A Win To Be Cherished – A Third Masters For Mickelson

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It was no ordinary Masters, then again, when is it ever? But the 2010 edition of the annual golf rite of spring had an extra spark this year. There was the Tiger return and drama to start the week but all the turmoil regarding that subject fell rapidly aside once the golf began and the stories that deserved focus came to light.

The table was set on Thursday. While everyone looked to the world’s best player and how he would play during his first competitive round in 20 weeks, the complete cadre of golf talent covering many decades emerged as the big Masters tale. A record worldwide audience witnessed two Champions Tour members and Green Jacket recipients climb to the top of the leader board and create massive expectation for the three days to follow. Fred Couples and Tom Watson would both eventually fade – with Couple hanging on to a hope of a win into early on the back nine on Sunday, but they both made a statement that Augusta National Golf Club is still open to assault by champion golfers of any age.

By the time the final round dawned, as much anticipation as I have ever witnessed in my 30 years of watching The Masters was clearly recognizable around the world. Golfers, non-golfers, the young, the old – there was a lot of people talking about one golf tournament in Georgia.

And it did not disappoint. By the day’s end, when Phil Mickelson made his last birdie to push him to -16 (67, 67, 71, 67 – 272) and the win, even the non-Phil fans had at least respect what he had accomplished.

Now with 38 PGA Tour wins, and four major championships, including three Masters titles (2004, 2006, and 2010), he has proven that he is indeed one of the best players of his generation.

And like Lefty has done for most of his career, he took viewers and golf fans on a wild ride all the way to the finish.

He did not make a bogey on Sunday but if you had only caught fleeting moments of the broadcast and multiple images of him flirting with the woods, you would have assumed that he had imploded in a major way.

Near the turn on Sunday, with pressure mounting from the likes of K.J. Choi, Lee Westwood, and even Tiger Woods, Mickelson was steadfast in his pursuit of this Masters. Par saves on 9, 10, and 11 kept him ahead of the pack – all leading to a pivotal moment on the 13th hole.

Facing 207 yards left to reach the green in two, Mickelson would have to challenge not only the yawning Rae’s Creek protecting the green but a golf ball resting on a bed of pine needles in the tree line. Taking up his 6 iron he blasted the ball to the putting surface, just four feet from the hole from where he would birdie.

“I had a good lie in the pine needles,” he said later. “I was going to have to go through that gap if I laid up or went for the green. I was going to have to hit a decent shot. The gap was a little bit wider—it wasn't huge, but it was big enough, you know, for a ball to fit through. I just felt like at that time, I needed to trust my swing and hit a shot, and it came off perfect.”

Where others might have failed, Mickelson completed the mission and from there played more steady golf on the way to the clubhouse and a three-stroke victory.

But even as Phil’s resume was being embellished with another major title he made it clear that the week was important in so many other ways. Especially to a family that in the last year saw Phil’s wife Amy and his mother Mary bravely face down the spectre of Cancer.
 
“This has been a very special day and a very special week,” Mickelson said following his win. “And to have (my wife) Amy and my kids here to share it with, I can't put into words. It just feels incredible, especially given what we've been through in the last year, to be able to share this kind of joy means a lot to us.”
 
Mickelson Masters WITB:

Driver: Callaway Golf FT Tour (7.5 degrees)

Fairway: Big Bertha Diablo (15 degrees)

Hybrid: Callaway Prototype (22 degrees),

Irons: X-Forged 4-iron, X-Prototype Irons (5-PW),

Wedges: Callaway JAWS Wedges (53, 60 and 64 degrees),

Ball: Tour ix Golf

Putter: Odyssey White Hot XG Blade

Shoe: Callaway HX Tour Footwear

This report provided to GolfWRX.com by Flagstick Golf Magazine (www.flagstick.com)

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  1. grochol17

    Apr 13, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Anyone know why Phil is using the Tour ix and not one of the newer balls?

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Tour News

Tiger Woods fires second-round 76, will miss Genesis Open cut

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Tiger Woods’ trip to Los Angeles is over sooner than he’d hoped. Woods fired a 5-over 76 during the second round of the Genesis Open to miss the presumed cut at Riviera by four strokes (the second round won’t be completed until Saturday morning due to darkness).

Hopes were high Woods would continue to build on a T-23 finish at the Farmers Insurance Open. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, as the driving woes that plagued him at Torrey Pines followed him to the Riv, despite changing shafts in his TaylorMade M3.

RELATED: Tiger Woods WITB

Wayward off the tee, Woods made eight bogeys Friday, unable to grind out a decent score as he did with his opening-round 1-over 72. He was unable to rely on his putter the way did in this first round, three-putting back-to-back holes (No. 11 and 12). A stretch of three straight bogeys sunk Woods’ hopes of hanging around for the weekend.

(c/o PGATour.com)

We won’t have to wait long to see the Big Cat back in action, however, as Woods committed to next week’s Honda Classic at PGA National in Florida. Woods most recently put a peg in the ground at the course in 2014, where he ultimately withdrew due to back spasms.

The 79-time PGA Tour winner hasn’t teed it in back-to-back weeks since 2015, so while fans may not be encouraged by his play, at least he continues to be free from any issues with his surgically repaired back.

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Tiger Woods shoots an opening-round 72 (1-over) at the 2018 Genesis Open

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After hitting just 17 fairways all week at the 2018 Farmers Insurance Open, where he finished T23, Tiger Woods switched driver shafts and added 0.75 degrees of loft in his TaylorMade M3 driver ahead of the 2018 Genesis Open this week. He went from using a Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 70TX shaft, to a Matrix TP6HDe shaft — he used a TP7HDe shaft back in 2015.

So how did the switch work out for him at Riviera CC on Thursday?

Well, he hit driver 9 times during his round of 72 strokes; four went right — one of which got lost in a tree and he had to re-tee — one went left, and four found the fairway. He hit 8-of-14 fairways in total; no Fred Funk, but an improvement. Woods’ bigger issue on Thursday, actually, was that he hit only 7 greens in regulation, leaving himself a few tricky up-and-downs. Despite hitting only 38 percent of greens, Woods managed to make 5 birdies, and he continues displaying prowess on the greens (1.784 Strokes Gained Putting, and 82 feet worth of putts made).

He also showed some flashes of old Tiger with Arnie-esque follow through.

Of course, that means he missed the fairway way right, and he did go onto bogey the hole, but the shot made for some excitement on golf twitter, at least.

According to @RandallMellGC, Tiger described his round in a post-round interview: “I fought hard. I made a few simple, silly mistakes, bad shots here and there, missed on the wrong side, made a few birdies as well. 1-over’s not bad.”

Yea, that’s about right.

Tiger currently sits at T66, and six shots off the leader. Lots of golf to play, but he’ll likely be contending with the cutline come Friday afternoon. How do you think Tiger will finish this week at the 2018 Genesis Open?

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Custom Camerons, wedge stampings, a 6-hybrid, and Tiger wearing Tennis shoes?

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Yesterday, we brought you shots of Thomas Pieters’ iron stamping, Adam Scott’s new (shorter) wand, and more.

Today, we’ve got some more choice shots from the range at Riviera from Tuesday’s practice. Strap in for a sampling from a cornucopia of WITB shots and a helping of Tiger Woods (who we feature in two galleries). We also discussed his new driver shaft yesterday, so if you missed that piece, check it out.

On to the pictures.

First up, Wesley Bryan looks to be gaming an some Anthony Taranto artistry with his 54-degree Mack Daddy 4 wedge. Do work, indeed!

Ted Potter, Jr. won more than a million dollars at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am last week. But as the check hasn’t come yet, he hasn’t been able to buy Goo Gone to take the tape residue off the bottom of his putter.

A custom Cam for Rafa Cabrera Bello.

…and William McGirt.

#GrindGoals (Luke Donald’s 60-degree Mizuno T7)

Vijay Singh looks to have gotten his foot stuck in a bear trap, and yet he’s still practicing!

The most famous putter in golf, and Nike Vapor Advantage tennis shoes for Tiger?

Apparently, all the weight modification available on PXG 0311 irons was insufficient for Charl Schwartzel.

When your name scripting matches your sponsor’s script…

This is not the WITB of a 20-handicapper, rather Camilo Villegas may be the only Tour pro gaming a 6-hybrid.

So much is going on with Camilo Villegas’ irons…

You’ve seen custom stampings, but how about Bubba Watson’s custom shaft and custom shaft graphic?

When you’re the only PGA Tour professional to own a candy store, your wedge imagery reflects that fact.

The Big Cat browsing GolfWRX on mobile, no doubt…

If you’d like to dig deeper, we have two galleries of range photos from the Riv, plus 13 (!) WITB threads. Dig in!

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