Lee Westwood is a former No. 1 within the second spot behind Kaymer. The Englishman is regarded as the best player by no means to win a main, an unwanted distinction he’d sure like to erase from his record. That is what they utilized to say about Mickelson, who now has four major titles in all. He reminded Westwood of that in the scoring cabin after beating him by 3 strokes a year ago.
“Just keep performing what you’re doing,” Mickelson told Westwood, “and it will occur for you sooner or later.”
In all, six of the top seven players have a shot at leaving Augusta in the No. 1 spot if they win, such as third-ranked Mickelson, who squandered a dozen chances last year to take it. The next two – No. 4 Luke Donald and fifth-ranked Graeme McDowell – also are within the running.
Even Woods, who has slipped all of the way to seventh with his slump, isn’t out of the chase for No. 1. He’s got a slim shot to reclaim it, while sixth-ranked Paul Casey doesn’t simply because Woods has played fewer tournaments.
Or this might be the location where a talented young player breaks via to win his initial major, somebody like Watson or Dustin Johnson or Rory McIlroy.
Wednesday supplied a final chance to practice and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, the temperature climbing into the low 70s for a fitting prelude to the warm, dry weather expected via the weekend.
While severe work was becoming done – jotting down yardages, studying all the dips and bends of those tricky greens – there was still plenty of time for frivolity amid the towering pines and dazzling azaleas.
Each and every golfer who came via the par-3 16th was needed to take at least 1 attempt at skipping 1 across the pond. The afternoon was reserved for the Par three Contest, where fans cheered on the legends group – Nicklaus, Palmer and Gary Player – and chuckled as everyone from caddies to just-learned-to-walk children tried their hand with the putter.
“We didn’t play well,” Palmer said, “but we had fun.”
Donald won the nine-hole event at 5 under. Not a great sign for the Englishman, because no one has ever followed a Par 3 triumph with a green jacket.
Mickelson played the Par three with his young children in tow, then had plenty of time to rest up for the real thing. He was scheduled to tee off in the next-to-last group, playing with Geoff Ogilvy and U.S. Amateur champ Peter Uihlein.
That suited Lefty just fine.
“I like the latest tee time feasible,” he said. “About 5 o’clock, it just appears to calm down here. It appears like any wind that may be available just appears to subside. It seems extremely peaceful. I would adore absolutely nothing much more than to have the last tee time each day.”