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Mickelson claims US Masters, Woods 4th

Last updated on: April 12, 2010 10:22 IST

Phil Mickelson birdied four of the last seven holes to win his fourth major title, and a third Green Jacket, by three shots at the US Masters on Sunday.

Phil MickelsonA stroke behind pacesetting Briton Lee Westwood overnight, the American left-hander fired a flawless five-under-par 67 to post a 16-under total of 272 at a sun-splashed Augusta National.

Cheered on by huge galleries including his wife Amy and three children as he walked up the 18th fairway, Mickelson put the seal on an emotional victory with an eight-foot birdie putt at the last.

He thrust both arms skywards in triumph before hugging his caddie, shaking hands with Westwood and then walking off the green for a long embrace with his wife, who was diagnosed with breast cancer last year.

"It feels incredible," a beaming Mickelson said before being helped into the Green Jacket by 2009 champion Angel Cabrera of Argentina. "I could go on and on as to many reasons why but to win this tournament, it's the most amazing feeling.

"I'm very proud of my wife and the fight and struggle she's been through. It's been a difficult year and to come out on top in this tournament is very emotional.

"It feels terrific and it's very emotional."

Westwood, who had been seeking his maiden major title and Britain's first since Paul Lawrie won the 1999 British Open, had to settle for second place after carding a 71.

American Anthony Kim closed with a sparkling 65 to finish third at 12 under, a stroke in front of world number one Tiger Woods and KJ Choi of South Korea, who returned matching 69s.

"I didn't get off to a fast enough start," said Westwood, who had tied for third in his two previous majors.

"I didn't drive the ball quite as well today as I had driven it in the first three rounds.

"I try and take the positives out of everything. I finished third, third, second in the last few major championships. I can't be too disappointed. I'm getting closer.

Mickelson, who won his first two Masters crowns in 2004 and 2006, effectively wrapped up the title with back-to-back birdies from the par-three 12th.

He rolled in a curling 14-footer on the 12th green, and then narrowly missed an eagle putt from just three feet at the par-five 13th before holing out from a similar distance coming back.


That put him two strokes clear before he picked up another shot at the par-five 15th, where he reached the green in two and two-putted, to tighten his grip on a third Green Jacket.

Kim began another sun-splashed day at Augusta seven strokes off the pace but he surged into contention with a sizzling birdie-birdie-eagle-birdie run from the 13th.

Choi briefly joined Mickelson in a share of the lead with eight holes to play before slipping back with bogeys on 13 and 14.

Four-times champion Woods, playing his first event in nearly five months with his private life having spectacularly unravelled at the end of last year, endured a roller-coaster day.

He started out poorly with three bogeys in the first five holes before he recovered in spectacular fashion.

Woods holed out from the fairway for a stunning eagle at the par-four seventh where his ball pitched 20 feet left of the pin before slowly making its way down the slope into the cup.

After a brief pause the World No 1 raised his arms in celebration before breaking into a huge smile.

He then birdied the next two holes, getting up and down from just off the green at the par-five eighth and rolling in a six-footer at the par-four ninth.

After mixing bogeys at the 11th and 14th with a birdie at the 13th, he collected another eagle when he coaxed in a 15-footer at the par-five 15th before signing off with a six-foot birdie putt at the last.

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