Mickelson wins 3rd green jacket after trying year - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Mickelson wins 3rd green jacket after trying year

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.

Already a fan favorite and now the sentimental pick with his wife and mother battling breast cancer, Mickelson rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt at the signature 12th hole. He then managed a stunning shot off the pine straw and around a tree to set up another birdie at the next hole.

Mickelson wrapped it up with yet another birdie at the 18th, then headed to the side of the green to hug wife Amy.

"To win this tournament, it's the most amazing feeling," Mickelson said from Butler Cabin. "This has been a special day. I'll look back on this day as very memorable, something I'll always cherish."

Westwood, Mickelson's playing partner in the final group, led for 54-holes. He was third in the last two majors, the British Open and PGA Championship.

"Phil, being the champ he is, just hit some great shots down the stretch," Westwood said. "He's been through hard times recently. He deserves a break or two."

Anthony Kim finished with a 7-under 65 that sent him to the clubhouse clinging to the hope that Mickelson would falter, but Lefty wasn't going to throw this lead away. Not after all his family went through the past year as his wife battled breast cancer — a striking contrast to the storyline coming into this year's Masters: the downfall of Tiger Woods after revelations that he had cheated on his wife with numerous mistresses.

Elin Woods did not show up at Augusta National, but Amy Mickelson was there, standing behind the green as her husband walked up to finish off the fourth major title of his career.

Woods was among the contenders who faded away, struggling all day with a shaky swing off the tee and never made a serious push for the lead. He finished with a 3-under 69 and 11-under 277, tied with South Korea's K.J. Choi for fourth.

"That's not what I wanted," said Woods, playing for the first time in five months since a sex scandal severely damaged his reputation. "I wanted to win this tournament. As the week went along, I kept hitting the ball worse. It was not very good."

His big highlight was holing out from the seventh fairway for an eagle, and he had another eagle at the 15th, but an inexplicable three-putt bogey from about 6 feet at the 14th doomed his chances. He was four strokes behind Mickelson.

"I only enter events to win," Woods said. "I didn't hit the ball good enough and made too many mistakes around the green. As a result, I'm not there."

Woods wasn't the only one to feel Augusta's bite. Fifty-year-old Fred Couples dumped a shot in the water at the 12th, leading to a double-bogey that stifled his bid to become golf's oldest major champion. Choi looked steadier than anyone until two straight bogeys knocked him from a share of the lead to four shots behind.

Kim started the day seven shots behind before surging up the board, climbing within a shot of the lead with an eagle at 15 and a birdie at 16. After closing with two pars, all he could do was watch Mickelson finish out his round in the last group of the day.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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