Roars echoed from all over Augusta National's grounds on Sunday afternoon, but none of them were coming from Phil Mickelson's group. It felt strange watching the final round and not catching a glimpse of Mickelson hitting a shot from behind a tree or rolling in a 25-footer to get within a shot of the lead.
We've come to expect a certain level of play from him when he tees it up at the Masters. After winning last week in Houston, it seemed like Phil was primed for a big week, and a run at his fourth green jacket. But after opening up with two sub-par rounds and then failing to do anything on Saturday, Mickelson found himself in an odd position in the final round, walking the last 18 holes, out of contention, in what amounted to a final stroll around the hallowed grounds
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Players are still left on the course, so things could change for Mickelson, but at the moment he's on pace to post his worst Masters finish since he missed the cut back in 1997. It's impossible to pinpoint where exactly it went wrong for the swashbuckling left hander, but one thing's for sure, he just couldn't muster the Masters magic when he needed it most.
With Augusta now in his rearview, Mickelson will now set his sights on the U.S. Open at Congressional. But after the way he played leading up to this week, don't be surprised if Phil counts this as an opportunity missed at a place that's become his personal playground in the last seven years.