Mickelson shot 30 on the front nine and 37 on the back nine.
Fred Vuich/SI
By Alan Shipnuck
Tuesday, April 14, 2009


1. Angel Cabrera. The enigmatic slugger from Argentina has now earned an unimpeachable place among the game's elite. And having visited the humble village where he grew up, I can say with some certainty that his journey is among golf's most amazing stories.

2. Phil's front 9 on Sunday. It was some of the most perfect golf ever played around Augusta. If you were a golf fan, you could barely breathe.

3. The Masters. A hearty welcome back to the sport's most thrilling tournament. You were missed.

4. Kenny Perry. For 70 holes he played the golf of his dreams, and the crowd, and green jacket, was his. It was gut-wrenching to watch him shrink from the enormity of the opportunity and then candidly admit afterward he doesn't have what it takes to win the big one. Here's hoping KP proves himself wrong.

5. Shingo. Seriously, how can you not love this guy?


1. Phil's back 9 on Sunday. He will spend the rest of his days stewing about that 9-iron on 12... and 10-footer on 14... and 4-footer on 15... and 6-footer on 17... and chunky chip on 18. Amazing that all he needed was a 34 on the back-9 and he couldn't get it done. And here comes the three-year anniversary of Winged Foot to remind Phil of his long drought in the majors.

2. Sergio. What was worse, his golf on Sunday or mopey disposition throughout the week? I sought out a veteran Spanish reporter trying to understand Garcia's malaise. Her response: "I think your word is brat, no?" Si.

3. Tiger. His putting was spotty over the first two rounds and then his swing was a mess on Sunday, when he was thoroughly outclassed by Phil. (It's a testament to Woods's incredible heart and scoring ability that he still patched together a 68.) It's time to downgrade this perennial Masters favorite to just another contender since he's now won only one of the last seven.

4. Rory McIlroy. This should get all those Euro scribes to stop humping his leg for a while. The kid showed plenty of game in his Masters debut but also his immaturity, getting rattled as soon as he was on the leaderboard and then taking a holier-than-thou stance to his potential rules violation. We'll chalk it up to growing pains... this time.

5. Chad Campbell. He quietly played some spectacular golf but you just can't miss that putt in the playoff. No four-footer will ever be a gimme for the rest of his career.

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