Mickelson steals Woods’ show at Masters

Story by Kyle Davis

Tiger Woods was back on the prowl, roaming the green fields of Augusta National Golf Club at the Masters April 8-11.

Woods had not played in five months, and with his off-the-course issues making headlines throughout his break, this was a much-anticipated return for golf enthusiasts, sports fans and everyday Woods followers and critics alike.

So it was only fitting, since Woods didn’t win the tournament and instead tied for fourth place, that the man who has lived in Woods’ shadow for most of his career, Phil Mickelson, stole the show from Woods and won the third green jacket of his career.

Woods showed no rust in his return, shooting a four-under 68 in round one, and posted scores of 70, 70 and 69 for his final three rounds. But while Woods shot a 70 on Saturday, Mickelson shot a round of 67 and was just a few feet away from recording three eagles in a row. “Lefty” did everything right on the final two days, posting a 67 in both rounds and beating runner up Lee Westwood by three strokes.

The patrons at Augusta were fully behind Mickelson Saturday, cheering so loudly after Mickelson’s second straight eagle that fellow golfer Ian Poulter had to wait to putt several holes away while the noise died down.

Mickelson has had his share of issues to deal with off the course recently as well, with his wife battling breast cancer this past year.  He was the feel-good story and pick at the Masters, his wife Amy being on-hand for one of Mickelson’s tournaments for the first time in 11 months. The world watched as she was able to celebrate with her husband after he won the sport’s most prestigious tournament.

All eyes were on Woods and how he would rebound in his first tournament back, but it’s not like Mickelson was playing with a clear mind focusing solely on golf.

It is unlikely that Woods will ever regain support from women, even if he does grab control of his family life, as he continues his golf career, but he is going to be fine.

He is too talented of a golfer not to make a comeback and continue to win after his time away from golf. He is a competitor, it might be difficult to find something that can stop Woods from doing what he does, which is win.

But Masters weekend belonged to Mickelson. Woods answered the critics, but it’s “Lefty” who walked away from Augusta with the coveted green jacket.