2004 US Masters Winner

Phil Mickelson leapt in the air with joy at winning the coveted US Masters tournament at the Augusta golf course in Georgia, ending his ‘Major’ duck and belying the title of “best player never to win a major”!
“Winning the Masters is something I always felt I could accomplish, and to achieve it after such a long fight just makes the realisation that much more rewarding. All the work I put in over the years, the frustrating near-misses, the relentless questions about my game, all disappeared after that wonderful week in Augusta,” he said.
Mickelson, who has had to cope with 17 top-10 finishes in the majors ‘sans’ victory, captured the elusive title by one stroke from South African, “Big Easy” Ernie Els.
Left-handed Mickelson was three behind Els with seven holes to play. For some time it looked as though the South African was about to add the Green Jacket to his two US Opens and one Open, but Mickelson came back and birdied the 12th, 13th, 14th, 16th and the 18th – avoiding a nerve wracking playoff with Els.
It was Mickelson’s 47th Major and he finally grabbed the title, after finishing third in the last three Masters. He came home in 31 for a 69 and a nine-under-par total of 279. Mickelson’s back nine was the best finish by a Masters champion since Jack Nicklaus shot 30 in 1986.
Ernie Els was as inconsolable as he was in 2002 when his pursuit of Tiger Woods ended with a triple bogey at 13. “Hey, the man upstairs was there for him,’” Els said, when he regained his composure. “He earned this one. He’s gone through a lot, but I had this image in my mind all day that I’d finally be wearing that green jacket”.
Not only did Mickelson work hard on his shot selection and patience before the tournament, he also spent hours with his personal trainer strengthening the stabiliser muscles in his hips and legs as well as improving his core body strength.
“The work has improved my stamina, but the biggest effect has been on my full swing – it’s very important to be stable and my driving has been chief benefactor of all that work,”’ he said.
Final scores:

  • 279 Phil Mickelson 72 69 69 69
  • 280 Ernie Els 70 72 71 67
  • 282 KJ Choi 71 70 72 69

285 Bernhard Langer 71 73 69 72, Sergio Garcia 72 72 75 66
Will 2004 US Masters champion Phil Mickelson take the title again this year?