Phil wins his phirst Mick-major
(spelling errors intended)
By Jeff Mayfield
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you could tell from the previous article,
it was a magical week at Augusta, Ga. ... Wish we all could have
been there. But once again after another outing with my wife's
family, we returned in time to pick up Phil Mickelson finishing his
final round at Augusta National. It appeared that he was destined
for a playoff with the always dominating Ernie Els. Especially with
holes 17 and 18 looming on the horizon.
Phil hit good enough shots to par 17
and head to 18 an almost certain par hole, which would forge a tie
with the unflappable Els. Els watched the TV monitors from the
scoring booth and casually sat there eating an apple. Then he
sauntered on down to the practice area and sank several long putts,
readying himself for the inevitable.
However, this was a different Phil
Mickelson. This was the new Phil Mickelson. Seldom will you ever see
such a fierce competitor smiling as he walks the final few holes
while stalking his first major golf title. Maybe he has learned
something. Whatever the case, on this beautiful day he looked like a
man on a mission, a man who knew he was going to win. At 18 he
blistered a drive like a field goal kicker splits the uprights,
right down the middle. The day before he tried to turn one over on
18 and knocked his approach over the green.
[to top of second column in this article]
But not on Sunday. Not only did he go
for the middle of the green, he attacked the flag, which is so
vintage Phil. His playing partner blasted out of the trap and left
his ball three inches behind Phil's, which proved to give the new
champion a great read that he needed.
However, Phil was still a good 15 feet
away on a tricky downhiller on one of the slickest greens this
writer has ever witnessed. Phil wasted no time over his ball and
stroked it on its merry and historic path. But the ball began
leaking and it looked like we were headed for sudden-death overtime.
Somehow, amazingly, the ball kept its path. I will never know how it
did that. Well, maybe I do.
ever seen a happier champion? Have you ever seen a crowd erupt more
for one? Happy Easter, Phil... You've won your phirst Mick-major!