Mickelson wins Masters and gets long embrace


AUGUSTA, Georgia (AP): Phil Mickelson won his third Masters title, shooting a 5-under 67 Sunday to pull away for a three-stroke win over England's Lee Westwood.

Even sweeter than slipping into another green jacket for Mickelson was seeing his wife waiting for him behind the 18th green at Augusta National with tears streaming down her face.

Amy Mickelson had not been at a golf tournament since being diagnosed with breast cancer 11 months ago and Phil Mickelson had not looked the same since.

Mickelson shared a long embrace with his wife behind the 18th green, and as he walked to the scoring trailer to sign for the lowest score at Augusta in nine years, a single tear trickled down his cheek to his lip.

"We've been through a lot this year. It means a lot to share some joy together," Mickelson said, his voice cracking as he struggled to keep control. "It's been such an incredible week, an emotional week. And to cap it off with a victory is something I can't put into words.

"It's something we'll share for the rest of our lives."

Determined to win one for his family, Mickelson made two remarkable par saves from the trees, seized control with a 15-foot birdie putt in the heart of Amen Corner and then made a gutsy play with a 6-iron off the pine straw and over Rae's Creek on the par-5 13th to set up a birdie.

It was the kind of shot that has brought Mickelson so much criticism for taking unnecessary risks.

There was simply no denying him in this Masters.

His final birdie only mattered on the scorecard, 16-under 272, the lowest by a Masters champion since Tiger Woods in 2001.

Mickelson had this won as he walked up the 18th fairway to a massive ovation. He raised both arms when the putt fell, had a long embrace with caddie Jim "Bones" Mackay then walked toward the scoring hut and into his wife's arms.

Standing behind them was Mary Mickelson, his mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in July.

So ended a Masters unlike any other. It began with Woods returning from a humiliating sex scandal and brought a sharp rebuke from Masters chairman Billy Payne and scrutiny of his behavior as he broke par all four rounds and tied for fourth, five shots behind.

It ended in tears for Mickelson and his wife - and in heartache for Westwood, who had his best chance at winning a major end by missing too many short putts.

"Phil being the champion he is hit some great shots coming down the stretch," said Westwood, who closed with a 71 for his best finish ever in a major. "He's been through hard times recently, and he deserves a break or two."

Anthony Kim closed with a 65, the best score of the tournament, and finished alone in third.

SCORES

Phil Mickelson 67-71-67-67_272

Lee Westwood 67-69-68-71_275

Anthony Kim 68-70-73-65_276

K.J. Choi 67-71-70-69_277

Tiger Woods 68-70-70-69_277

Fred Couples 66-75-68-70_279

Nick Watney 68-76-71-65_280

Y.E. Yang 67-72-72-70_281

Hunter Mahan 71-71-68-71_281

Ricky Barnes 68-70-72-73_283

Ian Poulter 68-68-74-73_283

Miguel Angel Jimenez 72-75-72-66_285

Jerry Kelly 72-74-67-72_285

Ryan Moore 72-73-73-68_286

David Toms 69-75-71-71_286

Trevor Immelman 69-73-72-72_286

Steve Marino 71-73-69-73_286

Ernie Els 71-73-75-68_287

Scott Verplank 73-73-73-68_287

Adam Scott 69-75-72-71_287

Angel Cabrera 73-74-69-71_287

Heath Slocum 72-73-70-72_287

Tom Watson 67-74-73-73_287

Ben Crane 71-75-74-68_288

Matt Kuchar 70-73-74-71_288

Kenny Perry 72-71-72-74_289

Geoff Ogilvy 74-72-69-74_289

Bill Haas 72-70-71-76_289

Yuta Ikeda 70-77-72-71_290

Jason Dufner 75-72-75-69_291

Steve Stricker 73-73-74-71_291

Francesco Molinari 70-74-75-72_291

Charl Schwartzel 69-76-72-74_291

Soren Kjeldsen 70-71-75-75_291

Sean O'Hair 72-71-72-76_291

a-Matteo Manassero 71-76-73-72_292

Lucas Glover 76-71-71-74_292

Retief Goosen 74-71-76-73_294

Dustin Johnson 71-72-76-75_294

Camilo Villegas 74-72-71-77_294

Steve Flesch 75-71-70-78_294

Zach Johsnon 70-74-76-75_295

Robert Karlsson 71-72-77-76_296

Mike Weir 71-72-76-77_296

Chad Campbell 79-68-80-71_298

Robert Allenby 72-75-78-73_298

Sergio Garcia 74-70-76-78_298

Nathan Green 72-75-80-75_302

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