Last Updated: 10/06/13 9:49am
The tournament began with one Masters favourite in the lead, ended with another taking home a third Green Jacket and inbetween the birdies and eagles flowed just like the good old days.
The first round leaderboard was almost perfection, full of crowd favourites, major champions and the best players in the world: Freddie Couples shot 66 to lead Phil Mickelson, Lee Westwood, Tom Watson, KJ Choi and YE Yang by one, with Tiger Woods two back.
By Friday night Westwood (69) had moved to eight-under-par, holding the joint lead with fellow Englishman Ian Poulter who had shot two 68s. Mickelson (71) and Woods (70) were two shots back.
Poulter failed to maintain the pace on Saturday, slumping to a 74, whilst Westwood's 68 allowed him to maintain the lead - but the stats don't tell the story of a remarkable Saturday afternoon.
The fairways echoed to the sound of mighty cheers as Mickelson produced a charge of epic proportions. In the time it took Westwood to fight for par on the 11th hole, the American made up no less than four shots on him.
Mickelson not only eagled the par-five 13th, he then holed out from the fairway on the par-four 14th and then added birdie on the par-five 15th. It was stunning and vaulted him into second place, one shot behind Westwood. KJ Choi (70) and Tiger Woods (70) were three shots further back in a tie for third.
The final day saw Anthony Kim hit a blistering 65 and Choi (69) briefly tie the lead, but it was largely a case of waiting to see who in the last pair would take control of the tournament.
Eventually Mickelson stepped up, making two pars from the trees around the turn and then capitalising by making a 15-foot birdie putt on the 12th before executing a stupendous 6-iron approach from the pine straw on the 13th. He missed the eagle putt but the birdie was enough.
Determined to win another Green Jacket for his family - in particular his wife Amy who had been diagnosed with cancer 11 months earlier - Mickelson's final round 67 earned him that prize with three shots to spare.
For Westwood it was another chance gone, although he had done little wrong.
For the fifth time in his Masters career, Mickelson was ranked in the top two for Driving Distance. He also hit 75% of his Greens In Regulation (ranking him third in that category) and when he did miss the green, his short game kicked in superbly. The left-hander, just as he did in his first Masters win, finished second in the Scrambling stats and took the same number of putts (116) as he did when winning in 2006. A career best three eagles combined with a tournament low six bogeys and another assault on the par fives (he played them in 12-under, second only to Tiger) all contributed to a third green jacket.
|Par 3 Contest Winner||Score|
|U.S. Open||Graeme McDowell|
|The Open||Louis Oosthuizen|