FanDuel - WFBC

April 11, 2010

Phil Mickelson Wins Third Masters: Phil Mickelson shot a five-under 67 to win his third Masters Sunday, three strokes ahead of Lee Westwood and four past Anthony Kim. Tiger Woods finished in a tie for fourth.

posted by rcade to golf at 07:23 PM - 34 comments

*golf clap*

posted by scully at 07:48 PM on April 11

*golf clap*

posted by tommytrump at 07:55 PM on April 11

Lefty was just so solid today. He coasted the last few holes & still made some birdies.

I'm not sure that an on-fire Tiger would have beat him today.

posted by brainofdtrain at 10:05 PM on April 11

I was pulling for Fred Couples today, but Lefty was solid. Good win for him, and it was nice to see his wife there, they've been through a lot.

Probably the best outcome for Tiger, he did well, was accepted by the fans and media, and because he didn't win he wasn't in the spot light too much. Well, okay, he was in the spot light like crazy this weekend, but it might have been even more intense had he won.

maybe we can get back to golf now.

posted by dviking at 10:26 PM on April 11

Lefty was just so solid today.

Not really. He was all over the place in the middle of the round. The difference was that his recovery shots were great, while Westwood couldn't seem to rebound from a bad shot.

Tiger was pretty blunt during his post-match interview on CBS.

He shook off all the feel-good crap the interviewer was trying to feed him, and pretty much said "I entered this tournament to win. I didn't win, so I'm not pleased with my results."

Given how many terrible shots Tiger made during that final round, it's amazing he still posted a below-par round and finished 4th. If his time off really did heal most of his old (physical) wounds, he might have given notice that he's ready to dominate again.

One more thing: I kind of wish there were security guards around to push the photographers/cameramen away from Phil when he was hugging his wife after winning. The first time, CBS got the shot they were praying for (a single tear running down Phil's face while hugging his wife). The second time, he was in danger of being crushed by the photographers as they crowded around him.

posted by grum@work at 12:23 AM on April 12

Lefty was just so solid today.

Not really. He was all over the place in the middle of the round

Not sure what channel you were watching, but on mine Phil shot a bogey free, -5 round. As to the middle of the round, say holes 7 thru 13, he was -3, so not sure what you're getting at. Did he miss a fairway? Sure, but then he did what all great golfers do, and recovered from it. He nails a shot from the woods to within a few feet from the cup! Was he picture perfect? Perhaps not, but he most definitely was solid.

posted by dviking at 01:30 AM on April 12

Solid play by everybody on a beautiful day at Augusta. Freddy had a good tournament but for a few bad holes, Anthony Kim had a brilliant last day. KJ Choi was terrific all week. Lefty and Westwood were better than fine. Tiger played poorly and still came up in fourth place. It was a good Masters in my book.

posted by bobfoot at 02:13 AM on April 12

I've had bloody Marys more solid than Mickelson's middle section last night (pun flagrantly intended). He was all over the place in the middle of the round.

The seventh was fine I'll give you that. At the eighth, he blocked his tee shot way left into the pine straw and was still 70 yards short after his 3-wood second shot. Yes, he got up and down expertly for birdie, but that's not a solid way to play that hole.

At nine, he hooked one off into the straw again and could only hack out 60 yards short of the green. Again, he got up and down well, but that's scrambling, not solid golf. At ten, his reaction to his own tee shot was indicative of how solid he was feeling. "Oh NO!" he howled, almost in a questioning tone that implied (or from which I inferred) an un-howled " and what the hell is over THERE?"

I've never seen anyone that far right on that hole. Again, he played a wonderful (albeit high-tariff) recovery and got up and down well from the front of the green. On eleven, he hooked his tee shot again and got a very lucky bounce off a tree that brought him back to the edge of (but still hitting his second from) the pine straw. He played a good shot and was unlucky not to make birdie.

At twelve he hit a good tee shot and holed a good putt, but that hole location makes that a much easier hole for a left hander, so he should play that hole well (even if he often doesn't see last year where his charge effectively ended when he dumped it there).

Then at 13, he hit one way up into the straw again and again got really lucky to find a gap through the trees for his second shot. His second shot was a crowd pleaser, but even he (with his crazy, crazy eyes) isn't stupid enough to have been trying to do that. He was aiming for the safe left side of the green and dragged it a bit. For good measure, he then not only missed the putt, but left himself some work for birdie.

So in the holes from 8 to 13, he got it in play off the tee once but completed those holes in 3 under par. That, for me, is the very definition of scrambling.

For me, the only person looking solid yesterday for any sustained period was KJ. Out in a bogey-free 33, a birdie at ten and two pars at 11 and 12, then he hits one defensive approach into 13, follows it with a bad bunker shot, and suddenly the wheels are off and he's leaking like a rusty bucket.

Westwood has looked like a racing driver with no high gears for the last few majors. He'll surely win one, but not until he finds that extra bit of something (and learns that 99% of all putts left short don't go in).

Freddie looked good for a while but was getting me nervous. Just as with Watson at last year's Open, I was desperate for him to not get to the point where he needed a 4-footer on the last to win because my heart couldn't have taken seeing him miss it; but he missed 4 putts in the first 10 holes that he should have made, and dumping it in the water on 12 just confirmed what was already on the cards.

Kim was impressive (so was Watney), but he's not at the point yet where he could be -7 for the last 12 if he was starting in the lead instead of ten shots back.

As for Tiger I was really hoping he'd birdie the last three and lose to Phil by one in the end so he could lie awake for a month or two thinking about how casual he was with his second putt at 14.

Big Phil was good for his win and as much as my heart wanted Westwood or KJ to break into the major winners' enclosure, my head and the rest of me knew that the "right" result was playing out.

posted by JJ at 06:28 AM on April 12

Great bit of BBC commentary on Sunday after Woods hit a(nother) tee shot straight up in the air.

Tiger: "TiiiiiiGER! Jesus Christ!"

Sam Torrance: "Don't think he's going to help you, son."

Ken Brown: "And that one nearly hit him up there."

posted by JJ at 07:36 AM on April 12

Not sure what channel you were watching, but on mine Phil shot a bogey free, -5 round.

I was watching the one that JJ was describing. Were you watching it? Or did you just look at the final results on the scorecard?

posted by grum@work at 08:42 AM on April 12

Mickelson's bogey-free round was amazing, given some of the places he put the ball off the tee. I kept thinking someone was going to charge up and take the tournament, but Mickelson escaped trouble time after time.

posted by rcade at 08:51 AM on April 12

Tiger: "TiiiiiiGER! Jesus Christ!"

Shouldn't Eldrick have been requesting help from Buddha ?

posted by tommytrump at 08:59 AM on April 12

My grandmother would say"That's what happens when you take the Lord's name in vain"...I'm just saying...God was probably waiting for Buddha to answer since Tiger could not have possbily been talking to him. A little Monday morning humor...I'll be here all week.

posted by yzelda4045 at 09:54 AM on April 12

Buddha had a fiver on Mickelson. And a deep admiration for the time Lefty's put in trying to get closer to Buddha's physical state.

posted by JJ at 10:14 AM on April 12

Actually, I was thinking that Phil looked a bit trimmer and firmer than I've seen him at points in the past. Not as much jelly jiggle. Maybe it's the shirt. However...all those tournament purses and no traveling hairstylist? He used the complimentary Prell from the hotel shower.

Speaking of shirts, IMO, part of the "new" Tiger ought to include doing away with wearing red on Sunday. It rekindles too many Hester Prynne - type associations. You would think someone might have advised him about making a few prudent image tweaks like that. With all the other brilliant advice he has gotten of late from his sports management yodas.

If not red, then what? Hard to say - just please don't ask Stewart Cink.

Back to waistlines: we'll see what Phil orders up for the Champions Dinner menu next year. I thought he did well previously with the lobster ravioli.

Here are some past menus. Including a Highlands fraternity initiation challenge that no doubt everyone swooned over.

posted by beaverboard at 10:42 AM on April 12

In fairness, he's not in bad shape at all, and the yoga certainly seems to help when it comes to throwing crazy shapes on the golf course. Like rcade, I kept expecting someone to come through and put pressure on him, or for his luck to finally break, but neither thing happened, allowing him to grab a third jacket with both hands. He was the best player, certainly for the final 24 holes or so, and I'm pleased he won.

Tiger got some great advice: "Bring sunglasses to hide behind so that people don't have to look at your cold, dead eyes when you're focused on what you're doing." That's top stuff. I wonder why he hired that blonde 21 year-old psychology major to help him figure out how to... oh.

posted by JJ at 11:50 AM on April 12

Here are some past menus.

Mike Weir, 2004: Elk, wild boar, Arctic char (that's a fish), Canadian beer.

Nice.

posted by bender at 12:12 PM on April 12

I just wish the television people would get off Tiger's back. Yes, he got frustrated and said a few naughty words. All we heard on Saturday was how Tiger disappointed us by his outburst and he didn't do what he said he would. Give the man a break for crying out loud. Do they really expect him to change over night? If they do, they are insane. Tiger expects the very best from himself and when he doesn't, he is going to get frustrated. Sometime to the point of saying a few words he shouldn't. Bobby Jones was no angel on the golf course either. It took time and he changed. Give Tiger time too.

As far as Tiger's game goes; if he had played at worst, even through the first 6 holes and made a birdie istead of a 3 putt bogie, he is right there at the end. When he gets the kinks worked out, he is going to be primed to dominate again.

posted by dbt302 at 12:48 PM on April 12

Tiger said he was going to control his outbursts on the course and conduct himself better. If the rest of the field can handle the occasional bad shot with composure while the cameras are on, why can't he?

posted by rcade at 01:10 PM on April 12

jj and grum...as I stated he was picture perfect, but great golfers find a way not let a bad shot affect the score...Phil did a solid job of that yester day. And, yes i watched the event. Even when he was in the hay he never had that "deer in the headlights" look that he's had in the past.

I don't take away for his being left handed on 12...most holes are set for right handers so he ought to catch a break every now and then. Nor do I discount that he was being aggressive on 13. He's made some bad mistakes in the past by being too aggressive on those types of shots, so I do think he was going for it there.

jj, i do agree with your thoughts on Tiger. I wanted that 2nd putt on 14 to be meaningful, but Phil had too big of lead at that point.

posted by dviking at 01:31 PM on April 12

that first line should be " as I stated, he wasn't picture perfect..."

and, no explanation for the yester day...was writing how my Grandfather used to say it.

posted by dviking at 02:24 PM on April 12

Tiger said he was going to control his outbursts on the course and conduct himself better. If the rest of the field can handle the occasional bad shot with composure while the cameras are on, why can't he?

He can't do it because he's never had to before. It is going to take time for him to change. There is no way anyone can or should expect him to be perfect his first time out. How do we know he didn't curb his tongue on other bad shots that we saw on tv? So instead of giving him the benefit of the doubt, he has to get raked over the coals for a couple outbursts. That is total crap and the media and a majority of the public should be ashamed of themselves. Everyone has a bad habit. Is it fair for your friends to give you grief if you lapse into your old habit if you're trying to quit? Give the man some support just like you would do for your friends.

posted by dbt302 at 02:51 PM on April 12

That is total crap and the media and a majority of the public should be ashamed of themselves. ... Give the man some support just like you would do for your friends.

Tiger Woods is not a friend. He's a staggeringly rich athlete who sells himself to sponsors who market every aspect of his life -- including his apology for adultery and his dead father in the latest Nike commercial. He chose to tell the press he would change his on-course conduct. He didn't. I think it made him look like a chump.

posted by rcade at 02:59 PM on April 12

Tiger Woods is not a friend. He's a staggeringly rich athlete who sells himself to sponsors who market every aspect of his life -- including his apology for adultery and his dead father in the latest Nike commercial. He chose to tell the press he would change his on-course conduct. He didn't. I think it made him look like a chump.

Exactly my thoughts. When they interviewed him directly after he finished, I thought this would be a good time to show a new behavior, one that acknowledges the fans that supported him, and also acknowledged that nobody was going to beat Phil on that day, and that it was a good day for him and his family. Instead, I heard the same narcissistic self-absorbed excuses why he thought he sucked. What an asshat.

posted by smithnyiu at 04:17 PM on April 12

Not sure if this was mentioned prior...Woods was asked what was next for him: "I'm going to take a little time off," Woods said, "and kind of re-evaluate things."

So, 5 months off, take 4th at The Master's, and you need more time off???

What, is he only going to play the majors? I think the PGA ought not allow that to happen. He was a major distraction (pun intended) this week, and I don't think the public will be as interested the next time he makes his return to the game.

posted by dviking at 05:42 PM on April 12

Tiger was a petulant jerk - but he did really well to finish 4th. I didn't think he'd be that competitive.

Still it was a great tournament. Enjoyed it immensely.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 07:15 PM on April 12

What, is he only going to play the majors? I think the PGA ought not allow that to happen.

Actually, I'm pretty sure that the PGA can't stop him from appearing at only the majors. He has lifetime exemptions for three of the majors (British, Masters, US Open) and a ten year exemption from his last win for the fourth one (PGA).

How would it be any different than Tom Watson playing in the British Open and the Masters? He hasn't been a PGA tour regular in over 10 years.

He was a major distraction (pun intended) this week, and I don't think the public will be as interested the next time he makes his return to the game.

As interested as they were this time? Of course not. More interested in a tournament that he plays in than one he doesn't play in? Of course they will be. He's the best (and most [in]famous) golfer in the world.

posted by grum@work at 09:53 PM on April 12

grum, my last comment was pretty much tongue in cheek. I fully understand that Tiger has exemptions to just about any event he wants to play. I just would hope that a golfer in his prime wouldn't cherry pick his events just to try and pad his "major" statistics.

For what it's worth, Watson is also going to be playing in the US Open this year, and I have no problem with that. He plays on the Champion's tour, and given his showing this past week I welcome him to any event he wants, and is eligible to play. Of course, my attitude toward him might be biased because he seems to be a heck of decent guy and a great spokesman for golf...Tiger not so much.

As to how interested they'll be at Tiger's next event, I think it drops off significantly. My wife & mom tuned into the Master's. I can guarantee you they won't be tuning in to his next event. Every media outlet won't be covering him non-stop, and people at my office that previously couldn't have given a crap about the PGA will go about their lives. Will it be higher than an event without Tiger sure, but it won't be the media circus that the Master's was.

posted by dviking at 11:23 PM on April 12

Tiger said he was going to control his outbursts on the course and conduct himself better. If the rest of the field can handle the occasional bad shot with composure while the cameras are on, why can't he?

A) He is the only player on the field toward whom the cameras are always set. The man can't fart in Florida without it being broadcast in Perth. B) The error here is his statement (that I never heard, but I trust you) that he would control his outbursts, not that he would break that promise. C) It is an unfair demand that an athlete must consciously mind his/her explosive emotional expletives upon unfortunate errors in execution. Shall we put a mike on Peyton Manning and then demand that he not explode in heated exasperation after an interception?

The fix here is to turn off the media's microphones, or to include radio's 7 second delay, not to demand PG-13 rules on top athletes.

posted by bobfoot at 02:28 AM on April 13

I'm no Tiger apologist, but I will say that it's not fair to compare him to everyone else when it comes to on course behaviour. Everyone else is playing with hope; Tiger is playing with expectation. Everyone else hits a perfect shot maybe 5 times in a really good round; Tiger does it far more often. He can hit shots other players can't even visualise, so it's understandable that he gets annoyed when he doesn't execute what he sees.

Also, he seems to be getting attacked from both angles. For years everyone complained that he was robotic and emotionless on the golf course, then he started wearing his rage on his sleeve and he gets jumped on for not being in control. He's been castigated for 15 years for just saying the right thing in interviews and never telling us his true feelings. After Sunday's round, he gave Peter Kostis his true feelings and now he's getting castigated for not saying how happy he was for Phil? He wasn't. He shouldn't pretend to be. I'd rather he was an honest asshole than a fake nice guy (oh hi, Phil, didn't see you there).

Having said that, for his own sake, he'd be better off as a golfer getting to a place where he can calmly accept the consequences of his swing and start focusing on what needs to be done next. In a way, it's his whole life in a nutshell - he's out of control and being petulant about it instead of accepting what's happened and moving on. He's right to take more time off; he's clearly nowhere near where he needs to be yet (mentally).

Apart from anything else, as a opponent of Tiger's, there surely can be nothing more encouraging than seeing him losing his temper. He's giving the field an advantage by losing his rag. As my coach put it to me once: "Just go out there and behave like a cat; like everything you do, you're doing it on purpose and like everything that just happened went exactly as you'd planned. That will confuse and scare anyone you're playing against."

posted by JJ at 05:31 AM on April 13

Thread derail: JJ, I sent an email to your ultimate olympian email address-- do you still check that?

posted by yerfatma at 09:00 AM on April 13

Not much, but will do now.

posted by JJ at 09:23 AM on April 13

Do we all really think ingrained habits can be fixed overnight?

posted by brainofdtrain at 05:41 PM on April 13

Well put JJ

posted by bobfoot at 12:44 AM on April 14

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