Phil Mickelson will certainly be missed at Augusta this year…
For the first time in 28 years, Phil Mickelson is poised to sit out The Masters.
The American – who is a three-time Green Jacket winner – has been advised to sit out the tournament after courting controversy with his comments on the Saudi Arabia Super League.
Nevertheless, he has been one of The Masters’ most iconic champions, and although he has come under fire in recent weeks, he is still revered for his golfing achievements.
Although The Masters might seem strange without Mickelson, Freebets has unlocked the vault on some pure golfing magic involving the ingenious lefty, and we have reminisced on his Augusta triumphs.
Clutch birdie (2004)
Before 2004, Mickelson was one of the best players never to win a Major. However, that all changed in 2004. Then, he was 33 years old, and winless in 46 Major appearances, but he silenced his detractors in emphatic fashion that day.
Heading into the final round, Mickelson mounted an incredible fightback, as Ernie Els was three shots clear with five holes to play. Mickelson responded picked up birdies at the 12th, 13th, and 14th, and then his coup de grace came at the 18th.
He rolled home an 18-foot birdie to slip into the Green Jacket for the first time, and in many ways, this was the launchpad for Mickelson’s success in the Majors.
Simply unstoppable (2006)
Majors can come like buses. Sometimes, you wait for one, and then two come along quite quickly! It was one of his cleanest final rounds, as he was bogey less until the 18th.
At that point, he was already presiding over a four-shot lead. In the end, Mickelson won by two shots as he posted a 69 to finish on a total of -7, and aside from bagging the Green Jacket, he walked home with a cool cash prize of £1 million.
Pinewood magic (2010)
When we think of the most iconic or evocative shots played at The Masters, one of the first ones we come to think of, is the miracle chip that Tiger Woods played in 2005. The ball seemed to take an age before dropping in, and when it did, it caused pandemonium among the patrons.
But who could forget Mickelson’s moment of inspiration in 2010? Trailing Lee Westwood by one stroke, Mickelson found himself in a spot of bother as he was under the trees and shrouded in pine straws. Most players would have just tried to take the safe option and clip it back onto the fairway, but Mickelson decided otherwise, and this time fortune favoured him.
Despite being nearly 200 yards away from the green, Mickelson made the perfect contact, and he somehow landed 10 feet away from the pin on the putting surface! It was simply extraordinary, and he came away from the 13th with a birdie when most would be happy to get par.
Who will take the Green Jacket?
With The Masters around the corner, attentions quickly turn to who could contend or who could don the Green Jacket in the Butler Cabin. You can expect there to be the usual suspects contending, and as things stand, Jon Rahm is trading as the short-priced favourite at 8/1 with Paddy Power, and he would love to add a second Major title to his collection. However, his 2022 form has something left to be desired, which may not help his cause.
Meanwhile, two-time Major champion Collin Morikawa is the second favourite with Unibet at 12/1, and having been tipped as a potential successor to Woods, Morikawa will be eager to put himself in the mix.
Whereas, Rory McIlroy – who has suffered heartache at Augusta over the years – is at 14/1 with Coral to land an elusive Masters title, and that could be a tempting price if you are looking for value in the outright market.