The Masters this year got the PGA tour off to a good start and is finally recovering from last year’s debacle of anticlimactic story lines in the majors.
Angel Cabrera, Lucas Glover, Stewart Cink and Y.E. Yang were last year’s winners, and none of them really conjured up any excitement.
In fact, Glover killed two of the better story lines last year: In his U.S. Open win, Glover defeated a charging Phil Mickelson, who had just recently learned that both his mother and wife had breast cancer, and David Duval, who at one point was the top-ranked player in the world but completely lost his game out of nowhere.
Then there was the case of Stewart Cink, who crushed the hope of golf fans everywhere when he defeated 60-year-old golfing legend Tom Watson.
Phil Mickelson, however, finally came through and delivered for the sake of golfing fans, winning his third green jacket.
There were, however, also moments at the Masters with that feeling of a carpet being ripped out from under the event like it had at Turnberry.
The truth is that Mickelson was my second choice in terms of golfers I wanted to win The Masters; my first choice was 50-year-old Freddy Couples.
The reason these two golfers were at the top of my list of guys I was rooting for is because the perfectly represent what golf should be.
Couples is a guy who goes out to his home course barefoot with an untucked polo, a representative of those who use golf as a release.
Mickelson is truly a marvel out there on the course. As someone who goes golfing at any opportunity, watching Phil Mickelson is truly an experience. The way Phil can shape shots is truly amazing. What he can do out on the course in terms of pure club mastery is second to none. Yes, I did say it is second to none. Tiger wins by wearing people down with his robotic efficiency, but Phil does it through pure mastery, and both are impressive.
Phil’s mastery has gotten him into trouble over the years. He takes outlandish risks and aggressive plays because he is the only man who can make those shots.
The willingness to push the limits of what is thought to be possible with a golf club is what makes Phil so special.
That and the obstacles that he has had to overcome on the way to winning this tournament were also humongous. Phil’s wife and mother recently being diagnosed with breast cancer was compounded by a recent loss in confidence.
After Phil’s meltdown at the U.S. Open at Winged Foot in 2006, he seemingly lost the zing he had and regained his “choker” status, which had haunted him until his first major victory at The Masters in 2004.
With Phil’s win, the PGA tour got a feel-good story that will hopefully be a sign of great wins to come.