Mickelson Is Masterful at Augusta National
RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:
Good morning John.
JOHN FEINSTEIN: Good morning Renee.
MONTAGNE: So, a few years ago, Phil Mickelson was known as the best player in the world never to have won a major title, and that's obviously changed.
FEINSTEIN: He was 0 for 42 at one point, playing in major championships, and now he's won three of the last nine--which is a remarkable percentage if one can keep that up over a long period of time.
FEINSTEIN: Now the question is how many major championships can he ultimately win?
MONTAGNE: And another question would be: how'd he turn around?
FEINSTEIN: That's not his goal. His goal is to play well, week to week. His goal is to win as many majors as he can. He's not trying to hit every tee shot 500 years. He knows he's plenty long enough off the tee that he can play with control. He even used two different drivers this week, Renee; one to hit the ball from left to right, and another that helped him hit the ball from right to left. No one in history has ever done that before.
MONTAGNE: Now, Tiger Woods was in contention all week, but he came up short. What happened?
FEINSTEIN: Well, to quote Tiger, he "putted like a spaz."
FEINSTEIN: He had a three putt on the eleventh hole. He missed a very short birdie putt on the next hole. And I think that--you have to make putts at Augusta National if you're going to win the Masters.
MONTAGNE: For awhile, it looked as if Fred Couples might break the record set by Jack Nicklaus, as the oldest man to win the Masters. How close was he?
FEINSTEIN: And the pairing of Fred Couples and Phil Mickelson together in the last group, was one of those where every time they, you know, looked at each other, the crowd started to cheer, because they're both so popular.
MONTAGNE: And quickly remind us, how old is Fred Couples? Was he the oldest?
FEINSTEIN: Fred's 46. Nicklaus was 46, but Fred's a couple months older than Jack was when he won in 1986, twenty years ago.
MONTAGNE: Okay, just really briefly. Phil Mickelson has won three of the last nine majors. Is he a challenger now to Tiger Woods, as the world's best player?
FEINSTEIN: And the two guys don't really like each other very much, so that makes it even more fun for those of us who are watching.
MONTAGNE: Thanks very much.
FEINSTEIN: This is NPR News.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.