June 26, 2019, 17:50

The Masters: Phil Mickelson marks 100 competitive rounds at Augusta

The Masters: Phil Mickelson marks 100 competitive rounds at Augusta

Three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson moved into an elite group of golfing greats on Friday as he completed his 100th competitive round at Augusta National.

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The 48-year-old marked his centenary start with a one-over 73 during the second to stay within three strokes of a five-way tie for the lead at the halfway stage.

“Every time I come here, I just get so excited to be here and to play, and it brings back memories of when I was a kid,” he said afterwards.

“It makes me feel young, and it has just been really special to be able to come and spend so much time here. This is a very spiritual place, if you love golf the way we do.”

Mickelson finished as lowest amateur on his Augusta debut in 1991 and successfully made the cut on his return in 1993, with his appearance this week his 25th consecutive start at the opening major of the year.

The American has registered 15 top-10s during his lengthy affiliation to the event, most recently with a tied runner-up finish to Jordan Spieth in 2015, while the last of his three Augusta victories came in 2010.

We take a look back at Mickelson’s Masters successes…

2004

After posting top-seven finishes in his previous six Masters starts, Mickelson snatched a maiden major victory at the 47th time of asking.

Mickelson had started the day in a share of the lead alongside Chris DiMarco but briefly slipped three shots behind new leader Ernie Els after stuttering to the turn in 38.

The American responded by firing a hat-trick of birdies from the 12th and added another at the 16th to pull level with Els, who had set the clubhouse target at eight under with a five-under 67.

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Mickelson then rounded off his back nine by holing an 18-footer at the last, jumping in the air in celebration after the closing birdie saw him claim a dramatic one-shot victory.

2006

Mickelson claimed the Green Jacket for a second time in 2006 after storming clear of the chasing pack during a weather-delayed final round.

After opening with six straight pars and slipping into a five-way tie for the lead, Mickelson reclaimed control with back-to-back birdies at the seventh to reach the turn in 34.

As the likes of Fred Couples and his great rival, Tiger Woods, failed to mount a back-nine charge, Mickelson picked up shots on the par-fives – 13 and 15 – to double his advantage.

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The tournament was all-but over by the time Mickelson reached the par-four last, where a first and only bogey of the day was still enough to complete a comfortable three-shot victory.

2010

Mickelson produced one of the most memorable shots in Masters history to help see off Lee Westwood and win the event for a third time.

A two-shot lead over the Englishman looked in danger of disappearing after the pulled his tee shot into the pine trees at the par-five 13th, where he elected to go for the green in two.

After finding a gap barely big enough for the ball to fit through, Mickelson committed to his six-iron from the straw and saw it clear the hazard and roll up barely eight feet from the flag.

Source: skysports.com

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