A Masters to remember, and the Zurich to come

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Phil  Mickelson  celebrates on the 18th green after winning the Masters golf  tournament in Augusta, Ga., Sunday, April 11, 2010. (AP Photo/David J.  Phillip)

This year’s Masters was a great one and maybe one of the best because it had something for everyone. 

A tournament founded by Bobby Jones who epitomized amateur golf had amateur Matteo Manassero, the youngest to ever play at 16.  Plus he made the cut, an amazing feat.

Once again, 70 year old Jack Nicklaus and 80 year old Arnold Palmer (10 victories between them) served as honorary starters hitting the ceremonial first tee shot.

A 60 year old, Tom Watson (two time champion), opened with a 67 and finished the tournament at one under par for 18th place. I am still cringing from his near win at Turnberry last year in the British Open.

A 50 year old, Fred Couples, is still hitting it 300 yards and has the game to add a second Masters title to his resume.  His 66 led after the first round.  In spite of some putting woes and a double bogey on 12 the last day, Couples finished at 9 under for a 6th place finish.

Louisiana’s David Toms, who will be playing in our Zurich Classic, finished at 2 under to make the coveted top 16 that will give him an automatic invitation next year.

Zurich Classic defending champion Jerry Kelly appears to be peaking at the right time with a 12th place finish at Augusta including a low round of 67.  I think he has a good chance to defend.

K.J. Choi, a former Zurich Classic Champion, notched a 4th place finish and has firmly established him as a world class player.  He is a certain pre-tournament favorite at this year’s Zurich.

Zurich Classic followers will need to keep a close eye on second-round round leader Ian Poulter, who finished at 10th.  I feel Poulter has a good chance to win a major this year.

We saw that Tiger Woods can still make the great shots but still has work to do on his game.  After his interview following his final round with Peter Kostis, he should probably visit with renowned sports psychologist Dr. Bob Rotella, too.

Most importantly, we saw the PGA Tour’s most beloved player, Phil Mickelson, win with class for the third time.  He showed the golfing world what we all needed to see – how important family is in the big picture. 

Mickelson has said he always wanted to emulate Arnold Palmer in regards to what he does for golf and what he stands for as a role model.  You made Arnold proud. Phil.  Thank you and congratulations. You are a class act!

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