In amongst the myriad of news stories surrounding Phil Mickelson’s emotional third US Masters victory, one news snippet worthy of note, especially across the Atlantic Ocean, is that despite having a golfer leading after 54 holes, and despite having two golfers jointly leading the Masters after 36 holes, Great Britain’s long wait for a Masters, or indeed a major, champion continues.
Not since Paul Lawrie took advantage of Jean Van De Veld’s moment of golfing madness at Carnoustie in 1999, has a British golfer held a major title. Lee Westwood hoped to rectify that at Augusta this past week, but once again came up just short when it really mattered. 11 years and counting...
The Worksop born Englishman had enjoyed three outstanding rounds of Augusta to put himself into the lead going into the final day and although he shot a decent round of one under par on the final day, the magic of Mickelson ensured that the American quickly eroded Westwood’s one shot advantage and saw him finish three shots clear of Westwood, after he carded an impressive 68.
More impressive than the score was the manner of Mickelson’s victory, including a stunning 204 yard approach shot at the 13th, from the pine straw and between two trees, that will rightly go down in Masters legend. On the day Mickelson was bestowed with a portion of Augusta final day magic, that not even an errat catkin pod, that blew onto the line of his putt early in the round and kicked his ball off course, could overcome.
There were plenty of cameo roles to support the main act in the final grouping. Tiger Woods flitted between the abysmal and the genius on his round, hitting a woeful tee shot at the first and following that up with bad shot after bad shot. That Woods finished fourth is testament that, fleetingly at least, he gave us a few tantalising glimpse of his golfing genius, none more so than at the seventh, when he holed his second shot for an eagle to bring himself back into contention after such a woeful start.
Fred Couples pushed hard on the front nine getting to 10 under before falling back around Amen Corner. The same few holes on the course also put paid to the hopes of the hugely impressive K.J.Choi who earlier in the round was clearly playing the best golf of any of the contenders. Then there was the back nine charge of Antony Kim, who picked up five shots in four holes to move right into contention with Westwood in second and to put the pressure on Mickelson.
In truth, it was too little too late. Mickelson’s wayward driving had occurred earlier in the round and by the time Kim was in the clubhouse and Westwood was finally trying to put pressure on the American, he was leading by three and playing comfortable golf, or as comfortable as it gets on the last day of a major.
Westwood’s disappointment will be tangible this morning. It wasn’t that the Englishman choked on the day, all four of his rounds at Augusta were below par, which is a fantastic achievement, but what he will reflect on was that he didn’t put Mickelson under enough pressure. Early bogies, answered immediately with birdies, proved costly and the putter, which for many months has been Westwood’s greatest weapon, finally ran cold today. Westwood’s record at the last three majors now reads third, third and second, the perfect golfing model of consistency and frustration in equal measure.
He will be hoping that at Pebble Beach in June, or St Andrews in July, he can finally take that final step to victory and become the first British champion of a major in eleven long years.
For Mickelson, it was an emotional victory. Flanked by his wife Amy, who along with her mother is fighting breast cancer, he putted out on the eighteenth for a tearful and deserved victory. The Masters that had given us the incredible fireworks of earlier, and had teamed the ridiculous with the sublime, now had the emotional gravitas to keep us hooked. “Lefty” was the wholly deserving winner on the day. He hit the better shots more often and held himself together, when things didn’t go to plan, better than any other golfer in contention. The green jacket was well deserved and a perfect fit.
For Westwood, he will move on to Pebble Beach in the hope that he can turn third, into second into first. For the Englishman the time must surely come soon. The form he is in at present merits a major title. However the same was said for Colin Montgomerie for many years and the Scot has, so far, never managed to enjoy victory in a golfing major.
All of Britain hopes that Lee Westwood will enjoy that feeling very soon. Given his form, many punters are hitting golf betting sites, backing Westwood to win a major this year.
To do that next month would at Pebble Beach would be great, but perhaps in July at St Andrews, the home of Golf, would be perfect.
A romantic ending indeed, just like we had on Sunday at Augusta.
If you liked this....
Friday April, 16 – Pinnacle Entertainment (PNK) announced it has given up its gaming license for Sugarcane Bay to the Louisiana Gaming Control...
Keep Reading »
When the draw for the 2010 Soccer World Cup in South Africa was held in Cape Town in December, the football fates decreed that the United States would...
Keep Reading »
April 15, PowerPoker.com announced that they are making a play for all former players of the exiting Cake Network Poker sites by honoring all...
Keep Reading »
April 14, MGM Mirage Inc. has named Las Vegas casino industry veteran Burton Cohen as a board member, the casino operator said Wednesday. The...
Keep Reading »
On Monday, The largest online casino jackpot of 2010 was hit; this spectacular win happened on the Mega Moolah slot game. The jackpot of over $2.7...
Keep Reading »