Jordan Spieth: our new Masters champion

We have a new Masters champion!

Jordan Spieth, the 21-year old kid from Texas took the lead at the Masters and wouldn’t let go till the very end. In an interesting Sunday battle he played like from another planet and managed to maintain his 5-shot lead till the 18th green.

While Spieth played so many birdies in this week than never before and at some point stood at 19-under which hasn’t been achieved yet it has been the other players who struggled and really failed to close the gap between them and Spieth.

Phil Mickelson had a great Sunday but even his brilliant short game didn’t help him out. Spieth’s was excellent as well. Dustin Jordan at least on Saturday seemed to be in a position to get closer to the top spot, but at some point it was obvious that he wouldn’t manage to stop the kid’s walk of fame. Tiger Woods’ game seemed to be completely out of control. On Sunday the first fairway he managed to hit was the 13th! Seriously: one—three! He was excellent in recovery shots though and he might even got his feeling back to get back into contention at a major. This was interrupted on the 9th when he injured himself hitting some hard ground under a tree (because he missed the fairways…). Justin Rose was very close but lost track on the second half. And Rory, yes Rory wasn’t in the best form either. He played well, had some fantastic shots but didn’t manage to bring down the numbers.

So it was Jordan Spieth who eventually dropped the last putt on the 18, hugged family and friends and was provided with the one and only piece of attire that every golfer is longing for: the green jacket at Augusta National.

Fun fact: watching the price giving ceremony later, you realised that Spieth so far very rarely put on proper jackets apparently. He had some troubles getting into the jacket with his arms all over the place and ended up not very gentleman-like saying “a little sweaty”, and smiled. What can you say… 21 years!

You have to really like this guy though. He played finest golf, tamed the beast Augusta National which seemed to be a bit easier this year but still is a heck of a golf course. And I don’t know why but this year I somehow realised the huge elevation changes on TV for the first time. That absolutely impressed me, it doesn’t even seem easy to walk the course, not talking about placing balls one metre next to the hole.

Really a very interesting Masters tournament this year! I’m ready for the other majors this year and I’m sure Jordan Spieth won’t be a one hit wonder!

“Phil the Thrill” appears in the hospitality zone again… not for drinks though!

This guy is unbelievable! He is a charming character, the dream son-in-law for a lot, always well behaved with good manners. Walking up the 18th green, the audience going crazy—I’m not sure how often he’s touching his cap or visor to greet the crowd? But Phil Mickelson is not only a nice guy, he really is one of the best golfers in the world and one could say, he’s the best short-game player out there. I don’t know the statistics but I’m sure his putting and chipping stats are top-notch!

In this week’s Barclays, the first of the FedEx Cup finals, Phil interrupted his Friday round for a short visit to the VIP hospitality area at the green of the 5th hole at Ridgewood Country Club—unintentionally obviously, as Lefty sliced his ball onto the cart path to the left which unfortunately bounced further onto the visitors’ balcony.

As we know Phil, he managed to get away with a rather acceptable score, bogey in this case.

The more interesting thing is that exactly the same thing happened to Phil the next day! Again 5th hole, again a shot to the left and again a huge bounce onto the hospitality terrace. Absolutely incredible! And Phil couldn’t believe it either: “Oh no not again!” This time, as he knew the spot, carded down a par… is he the golf God or what?!

And I really like the fact that the crowd had their fun too!

Continue reading “Phil the Thrill” appears in the hospitality zone again… not for drinks though!

The 2013 Open Champion: Phil Mickelson

What a great Sunday it was, what a great tournament came to a stunning and thrilling end. I really watched tons of professional tournaments in my life and plenty of majors but these last 3 hours of the 2013 Open Championship in Muirfield really were outstanding and so much fun to watch.

All eyes have been on Lee Westwood who was leading by 3 shots when he teed of today. The course is tough, weather was getting worse, wind came up and nobody expected many birdies throughout the day. Players like Hunter Mahan who was paired with Lee quickly lost some shots and was out of the equation. Same Tiger, he putted really badly, found many bunkers and struggled more than he has wished for. In the end all the eyes have been on Lee and Adam Scott. Then Stenson, the Swede, played brilliant golf and looked like the man who could make the outright lead. It was just not happening – but it was close.

Suddenly another name was in focus; Ian Poulter. He scored eagle, birdie, birdie, birdie on consecutive holes and made his way up the leaderboard. He was fighting with everything he had and unfortunately struggled on the last holes to finish with a +1 for the tournament, five under for the day!

At that point it was just Lee Westwood who was under par. But he began struggling as well, tee shots found bunkers or the deep rough, he needed two bunker shots or wasn’t sinking that important putt. In short, he tried to manage pars rather than birdies.

One other guy instead played a hell of a round. Phil Mickelson played the golf of his career (as he later describes it). It’s a tough and challenging course, especially in such windy weather conditions, but he putted like an angel and ended his round with a remarkable 66 three under par. All he had to do is to wait for the others to finish but I assume he was really sure he made it by then. He and his caddie Bones started crying still on the green. What emotions!

Phil scored big time with this important major! After the Masters wins and the PGA Championship titles this is the third major title he earns to reach the career grand slam. Only the US Open is something Phil is still waiting for – 6 times as the unlucky runner-up!

Phil, his caddie and main man Bones and the Claret Jug… you guys really deserve it! Thanks for this thrilling afternoon!