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The year in golf...

Mickelson claimed first major of the season

Posted Dec 28, 2010 by Jeff Dawson

Phil Mickelson

So the golf season was off to a flier and March and April proved absolutely no different as the action just kept coming. We were also in for a treat at the first major of 2010 as the Masters at Augusta National was fantastic entertainment from start to finish.
But first, March’s action. The Maybank Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpar kicked off March’s event and it was Seung-yul Noh who took the largest slice of the 1.5m euro prize fund. He shot a stunning 14 under to beat fellow Korean K J Choi by a shot.
Ernie Els showed a return to form to delight fans worldwide when he powered to a stunning win in the WGC – CA Championship in Florida. He shot a superb 18 under to beat Charl Schwartzel by four shots. Martin Kaymer showed his form was here to stay when he tied for third with Padraig Harrington.
Rhys Davies then took the Trophee Hassan II competition in Morocco before we got our first glimpse of Louis Oosthuizen, the winner of the Open later in the season. He won the Open de Andalucia de Golf by three shots with a marvellous 17 under performance over the four rounds of the tournament.
Then came the Masters at Augusta, a competition held in the highest esteem worldwide. This is rapidly becoming the one major that the best players in the world all want to win, perhaps becoming even more significant that the Open, the most historical and romantic major of them all.
And this Masters was one to remember. We saw an early surge from the great Fred Couples before he fell away, finishing sixth overall, before two Englishmen is Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood took control. Westwood was at his mercurial best with rounds of 67, 69, 68, 71 and he shared the lead at half way with Poulter after the charismatic Poults hit two 68s to start. However, his challenge fell to pieces with a 74 and 73 to finish joint 10th.
Unfortunately for Westwood, who led by one from Phil Mickelson going into the final day, his worst round of the week coincided with Mickelson’s finest and he could do nothing to halt the charge of the left handed superstar who shot 16 under and went on to win by three from Westwood. Tiger Woods finished joint fourth on 11 under in a season that later became one to forget for him.
On the European Tour, James Morrison won the Madeira Islands Open BPI, Y E Yang took the Volve China Open, Marcus Fraser won the Ballantine’s Championship and Alvaro Quiros took the Open de Espana.
Over in America, Camilo Villegas won the Honda Classic, Derek Lamely claimed the Puerto Rico Open, Jim Furyk was the Transitions Championship champion, Ben Curtis won the Tavistock Cup and Ernie Els won the Arnold Palmer Invitational at the end of March.
In April, Anthony Kim won the with Shell Houston Open, Jim Furyk won again, this time at the Verizon Heritage, Jason Bohn took the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and Rory McIlroy destrpyed the field at the Quail Hollow Club to win the Wells Fargo Championship.

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