PHIL MICKELSON LAST NIGHT DESCRIBED HIS PRIDE IN WIFE AMY, WHO HAS FOUGHT BREAST CANCER FOR THE PAST YEAR, AS HE CELEBRATED A THIRD GREEN JACKET THAT PLACED HIM AMONG THE GREAT CHAMPIONS AT AUGUSTA NATIONAL.
The 39 year-old held his wife in a long embrace upon leaving the 18th green after shooting a flawless final round of 67 to see off the challenge of Lee Westwood by three shots. “When I look back at this, it will be something I’ll always cherish,” Mickelson said. “It has been an emotional year and I’m very proud of my wife for the fight and struggle she has been through. This is terrific, it is one of the best things. We’ve been through a lot and to be on the other end, to feel the jubilation, is phenomenal.” “It has been an amazing week. My caddie, Bones, has been an incredible friend, better than he could ever imagine and we have been together for 18 years. I need to thank my coach, Butch Harmon, too.” His voice breaking with emotion, Mickelson added: “For my wife and I, it means a lot to share some joy together.
She’s an incredible wife, an incredible mother, and she has been an inspiration for me. I’m so glad she and my kids are here. I can put it into words, but it’s something we’ll remember for the rest of our lives.” Asked about the audacity of his approach shot to the 13th, which gave him the decisive upper hand in his tussle with Westwood, Mickelson focused instead on the birdie at the 12th that took him to 13 under and two strokes clear, a position from which he never looked back. I needed to make birdies – and for me the big key was 12. I knew that putt, and that gave me a little adv heading into 13.”
Westwood, who closed with a 71 after shooting three straight rounds in the 60s, was sanguine in defeat, saying: “Whenever you contend as I have here, it is tinged with disappointment, but one of these days I will get the breaks. But Phil, being the champion he is, hit some great shots. The second at 13 was incredible. He has had a tough time recently and he deserves it.”