In perfect harmony

In perfect harmony

Phil Mickelson once again turned on the magic in Augusta, which he terms as his second home

In perfect harmony

EAGLE-EYED: Phil Mickelson battled several odds to clinch his fourth Major at his favourite Major. AFP

Nearly one year after revealing his wife Amy had been diagnosed with breast cancer, Mickelson charged through the homeward nine at Augusta last week for a three-shot triumph and an emotional embrace with his family.

A 10-foot birdie putt at the last ended it, and started a hug-fest that began with his caddie Jim Mackay on the green and led to a long embrace with Amy, her head buried into his right shoulder as a tear rolled down his left cheek.

"I don't normally shed tears over wins, and when Amy and I hugged off 18, that was a very emotional moment for us and something that I'll look back on and just cherish," he said. "I'll cherish every moment of this week."

What began as a "Tiger watch" to see how the world number one would play after a five-month absence, and how fans would react to him after revelations about his string of marital infidelities, ended in a family feel-good moment.

Mickelson did not know Amy would make it to the course. She and their three children had arrived couple of days before the final round but was too weak from her medication and remained at their rented house.

"It's been an emotional year, and I'm very proud of my wife and the fight and struggle she's been through," Mickelson said during the Green Jacket presentation at Butler Cabin.

"It's been a difficult year, and to come out on top in this tournament is very emotional."
Mickelson, whose mother, Mary, was also diagnosed with breast cancer shortly after his wife, had not had his family travel with him to a tournament in 11 months.

"It's been tough," said world number three Mickelson, whose victory over Briton Lee Westwood gave him a third Green Jacket.

"We are fortunate long term, but the meds that (Amy's) been taking has been very difficult, and she didn't feel well and she doesn't have energy. This means so much to us to be able to share this."

Magic in Augusta

Mickelson, 39, whose black cap has a pink ribbon stitched on it to promote breast cancer awareness, had been struggling with his form but something magical happens when he comes to Augusta.

"When I get here to Augusta, I get very relaxed and feel very comfortable here," he said. "I'm in love with this place and it brings out the best in me."

At the 13th, Mickelson produced a spectacular shot. After an errant drive put him behind two trees, he rifled a 207-yard shot through a four-foot gap between them to settle three feet away from the cup on the par-five green.

"I was going to have to go through that gap if I laid up or went for the green," explained Mickelson, who prefers to be daring on the golf course. "The gap ... wasn't huge, but it was big enough for a ball to fit through," he said to laughter from the press corps. I just felt like at that time, I needed to trust my swing and hit a shot, and it came off perfect."

The victory, which he also celebrated with his children Amanda, Sophia and Evan, gave him a fourth major championship and first since the 2006 Masters -- giving him the most other than Woods of any active regular tour player.

After last year's winner Angel Cabrera helped him into the Green Jacket, Mickelson took a moment to enjoy the sensation. "It fits," he said. "It feels great."