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2010 Masters: Phil Mickelson Steals The Show

Posted on April 11, 2010 by Dean Hybl
The Masters

Phil Mickelson dominated the final round to win the 2010 Masters.

With all the hype entering the Masters about Tiger Woods, it turns out that the final glory went to Phil Mickelson, the era’s other great player, who has also spent this year dealing with off-the-course issues.

While Tiger has been dealing with issues brought on by his own decisions, Mickelson and his family have spent the year dealing with the indiscriminant foe of cancer.

The contrasts between Woods and Mickelson are certainly glaring, but this is a time to celebrate the greatness of the lefthander and not to continue the now familiar lament against the talented righthander.

For years, Mickelson has dealt with the criticism that even with three major titles he had never reached his full potential. Indeed, every time it has seemed that he was poised to break through and serve as a true nemesis for Woods, he would do something to derail his chances.

That is why it seemed very improbable that Mickelson would be a serious contender at the 2010 Masters.

After being a clear number two to Woods for the last several years, Mickelson was only a shell of his former self for the first part of 2010.

Who Will Win More Majors in 2010?

  • Phil Mickelson (78%, 7 Votes)
  • Tiger Woods (22%, 2 Votes)
  • They will win the same number (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 9

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While Woods was dealing with his personal issues in seclusion, Mickelson was battling through his own family challenges with not just his wife, but also his mother battling cancer.

In seven tournaments, he made the top 10 only once and had yet to come close to hoisting a tournament trophy.

For that reason, few seriously expected him to contend in Augusta this year. Yet, he fired three rounds of 67 and pulled away at the end to complete his improbable return to the top.

Once considered the young protégé, Mickelson will turn 40 this year and his no longer the youngster with all the talent.

It may seem strange, but he is probably now in his final three or four years as a true contender for major championships.

Mickelson and his wife Amy have dealt with a lot more than just golf over the last year.

Mickelson and his wife Amy have dealt with a lot more than just golf over the last year.

Having spent the last year helping his family fight through some of the toughest challenges you can imagine, even the most difficult golf course must seem like a walk through the park for Mickelson.

Indeed, where even a year ago he wilted during the final round of the Masters, this time he seemed to get stronger as all around him started to crumble.

Mickelson started the final day one stroke off the lead, but had the lead by the turn and pulled away in the final holes for a three stroke victory.

While Mickelson will never match Woods total of grand slam victories, he is proving to be a worthy adversary and now seems destined to forever be labeled as the second best player of his generation.

I’m sure there was a time when that kind of label would have bothered the competitive Mickelson, but given all he has had to deal with over the last year, I suspect that he has come to realize that there far greater things in life to worry about than how others perceive your success.

Indeed, Mickelson looked much more poised and at ease on the golf course during the Masters and made few physical or mental miscues when it counted. That was quite a stark contrast to Woods, who looked uncomfortable on the links and made far more missteps than in days gone by.

It is an amazing role reversal for these two superstars and it will be interesting to see if that continues into the future.

Phil has always been chasing Tiger, but for once it now just might be the other way round. It should be quite entertaining to watch.

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