The headline could be, “Masters victor overcomes personal problems & wins.”
That winner of course was Phil Mickelson not Tiger Woods. It was Mickelson who posted a convincing triumph over the emotions from watching both his wife and mother battle cancer as well as, almost incidentally, trouncing the field by three shots. Lefty displayed both an inner strength of character plus his world class ability to play this very difficult game under stressful circumstances.
The 2010 Masters should not be looked at as a morality play with the guy in a white hat overcoming the black hats though already the post mortems being written are sounding that way. Plus it was not Woods failure to play winning golf that defined the four days at Augusta National Golf Club (in spite of the pre-tournament odds making him the favorite those who understand tournament golf did not gave him a serious chance – too much baggage).
This year’s rendition of golf’s classic symphony was defined by the incredibly steady play of Mickelson, who has been the poster child for major-losing misjudgments, with three rounds of 67 and a “bad round of 71”…amazing.
There were flashes of the less consistent Phil though. At the time some questioned his choice to hit his second shot on 13 between two trees from a lie in pine straw, over water to mounded green notoriously hard to hold. But Lefty said later the lie was good and the gap between the trees was much wider than it looked on television, in essence a shot only slightly harder than normal…amazing.
His four-foot putt for eagle missed but the birdie had the fat lady singing.
Woods on the other hand did not play up to his standard of the past, venting his anger with profanity both Saturday and Sunday making it obvious more work is required on a lot of things with the golf game not highest on that list. The world’s number one finished T-4, said he was taking time off and doesn’t know when he will play again…amazing