2010 US Masters
The 2010 US Masters was won by World number two, Phil Mickelson, who claimed his third Green Jacket, after finishing in front of Englishman, Lee Westwood.
As usual the tournament, which was the 74th Masters, had a high quality field of 96 players and was teed off by two of Golf’s greatest legends, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer.
Mickelson in fact started the tournament off as he clearly meant to continue, with a magnificent five under par 67, a score which was only bettered by1992 US Masters Champion, Fred Couples. Also with 67's were South Korean number one, KJ Choi, Lee Westwood , Yang Yong-eun and the phenomenal 60 year old, Tom Watson, champion here in 1977 and 1981.
Ominously Tiger Woods, playing his first tournament of the year was two back off the lead with a solid round of 68, a score he shared with Ricky Barnes and Anthony Kim.
Round One Leaderboard
66 – Fred Couples
67 – KJ Choi, P Mickelson, Tom Watson, Lee Westwood, Yang Yong-eun
68 – Tiger Woods, Ricky Barnes, Anthony Kim
By the conclusion of the second round is was Westwood who had taken the initiative, with another solid round, this time a 69, but he had been joined at the top of the leaderboard by compatriot, Ian Poulter, winner of the WGC-CA Matchplay, earlier in the year. The two led by two strokes from a posse of five players, which included both Mickelson and Woods. Remarkably, Tom Watson was still in contention, getting around in a 74, to put him five shots behind in a tie for 9th place.
Round Two Leaderboard
136 (-8) – Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter
138 (-6) – Ricky Barnes, KJ Choi, Anthony Kim, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods
139 (-5) –Yang Yong-eun
141 (-3) – Soren Kjeldsen, Tom Watson
Westwood took the outright lead on the third day, after shooting an excellent 68, however, Poulter, who had played so well in the first two rounds, lost his way and carded a disappointing 74, to put him in a tie for 6th place.
the player who made the most significant move was Mickelson, with a round of the day 67, which put him just one behind Westwood and meaning that the two would play the final round in each other’s company.
Meanwhile both Tiger Woods and KJ Choi maintained their challenge, they both fired 70’s which put them four back, but well within range, should Westwood ad Mickelson lapse on the final day.
Fred Couples, who lost his way in the second round, firing a 75, found himself again in Round 3, shooting a 68 which gave him 5th place going into the final round.
Round Three Leaderboard
204 (-12) – Lee Westwood
205 (-11) – Phil Mickelson
208 (-8) – KJ Choi, Tiger Woods
209 (-7) – Fred Couples
210 (-6) – Ricky Barnes, Hunter Mahan, Ian Poulter
It was difficult to tell if it was leadership nerves or not, but Westwood played poorly on the front nine, while Mickelson, although not making birdies, did enough by parring the first seven holes to establish the lead. It was a lead he would improve upon too as by the end of the tournament he had carded an outstanding 67, while Westwood, who did rally on the back nine, could only finish with a 71, giving him second place outright.
The biggest charge of the day however did not come from Woods as might have been expected, instead it was Anthony Kim who played out of his skin to card a fantastic, 65 to finish just one behind Westwood in third place on his own.
Woods in fact played well but shot a 69 as did KJ Choi meaning that two men had to content themselves with a tie for 4th place.
Tom Watson finished in a very creditable tie for 18th place, proving that once again that he is well up to the required standards of the modern day golfer.
Final Round Leaderboard
1st - 272 (-16) – 67, 71, 67, 67 – Phil Mickelson
2nd - 275 (-13) – 67, 69, 68, 71 – Lee Westwood
3rd - 276 (-12) – 68, 70, 73, 65 – Anthony Kim
The scores of the rest of the top ten were as follows:
4th (-11) Tiger Woods, KJ Choi
6th (-9) Fred Couples
7th (-8) Nick Watney
8th (-7) Hunter Mahan, Yang Yong-eyn
10th (-5) Ricky Barnes, Ian Poulter.