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Remembering Phil Mickelson’s first Masters victory 20 years on



Remembering Phil Mickelson’s first Masters victory 20 years on

The countdown is on until the first major championship of the year gets underway. Augusta National Golf Club hosts the Masters for the 88th time in 2024 and the best players in the world will be travelling to Georgia for a shot at glory.

Last year, Jon Rahm won his first ever green jacket by coming back from a two stroke deficit in the final round to eventually prevail by four shots.

Can he become just the fourth player to retain his crown at Augusta? Or will someone else etch their name into the history books?


The favourites to win the 2024 Masters

Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy are currently joint favourites to win the event at odds of 8/1, which seems fairly low for a Masters bet considering their form.

With regards to Masters tips, Rahm is second favourite for the event at odds of 10/1 and there is no doubt he will be fresh having played only a few events since joining LIV Golf late last year.

Will this hinder his performance? Or can he use this to his advantage at Augusta this year? Only time will tell.

There could even be a first time major winner, as several players are knocking at the door in the big events.

The 2024 edition marks 20 years since one of the finest players of this century claimed his maiden major win, as Phil Mickelson ended his hoodoo in the big events.


How Phil Mickelson won the 2004 Masters

The American arrived at Augusta in the spring of 2004 hoping that this could be his year to finally win one of the four majors.

Prior to then, Mickelson had finished in the top five nine times, including three successive third place finishes at the Masters from 2001 to 2003.

The then 33-year-old got off to a solid, if unspectacular start, recording an even par round of 72 in the first round, but he improved on Friday, shooting a three-under 69 which meant he shared fourth spot heading into the weekend.

The American found himself in a similar situation as another round of 69 gave him a share of the 54-hole lead alongside Chris di Marco heading into the final day, was this his best chance to claim a maiden major?

Ernie Els had claimed three majors since 1994 and he was proving to be the closest rival to Mickelson for the green jacket. The South African was playing two groups ahead of the American on Sunday and had the perfect chance to deliver a statement of intent. Els recorded a stunning round of 67 as he held the clubhouse lead at eight-under par.

A two-over par score on the front nine, however, suggested that Mickelson may have to wait another few months to win his first major title.

Birdies on the 12th and 13th energised Mickelson and he stood on the 18th tee tied for the lead, knowing a birdie would secure him victory.

A calculated approach shot gave him a putt for the win and he duly holed it to finally get the major monkey off his back for good.

20 years on, it remains one of the best moments in the tournament’s history.


We hope you enjoyed the article ‘Remembering Phil Mickelson’s first Masters victory 20 years on.’ What are your predictions for this years Masters tournament? Let us know!


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Jacob graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Reading. An avid footballer, he spent time under the FAW academy programme as well as Cardiff Corinthians. Later going on to play for his university and Wellington United whilst residing in New Zealand. He currently resides in Frome, Somerset. You can contact him at [email protected]


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