The Masters 2011: Phil Mickelson and Augusta, The Perfect Marriage

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The greatest week in golf is upon us.  Augusta National is to the Americans what St. Andrews is to the Scots. 

To all who have been, there is no need for explaining. To the ones who have not, it is hard to describe.  The word reverence comes to mind when I speak of these hallowed Georgia grounds.

The setting this year is perfect for Phi Mickelson, the defending champion who has won three of the past seven Masters.  His impressive win last week at the Shell Houston Open has him the tournament favorite. 

What impresses me most about Phil is that the lefty is more than just a tournament favorite – he is people’s champion.  He represents what is great about our game.  His swashbuckling syle where he looks fear head on and is not afraid of failure connects to the depths of the golfing masses. 

We have seen Mickelson fall short (for example, those five agonizing U.S. Open second place finishes), but we have also seen a golfer who still finds a smile regardless of the outcome on the course. That personality resonates with everyone around him.

His care for his family goes without saying. Phil showed grace while dealing with the health of his wife Amy and his mother Mary.  He has life’s greatest gift, love of family.  I am sure you will see his three children,  Amanda, Sophia and Evan, caddying for dad at the Wednesday par-3 tournament, professional golf’s most relaxed event.  

Phil is loved at Augusta National by all, from the locker-room attendants to the tournament chairman.  I know one day he will join Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus as the only PGA Tour Members asked to join the club.  In fact, joining Augusta National would really cap off a perfect marriage in golf. 

Play well, Phil. and thanks for all you do for the game.

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