Phil Mickelson is as savvy as they come. Who else could shrug off the U.S. Supreme Court so smoothly and rock that leather jacket so enviably?
When the Masters began Thursday morning, Lefty wasted little time racing to the front page of the leader board, making eagle on the second hole and getting to three-under-par early in his round. He spend most of the day one stroke off the lead, and after finishing with an opening round of -1, has to be considered one of the early tournament favorites. Although his last Masters finish was not something to brag about (T58), he was a runner up for the green jacket the year before. As Augusta favors left-handed golfers, Phil is on the road to another chance at the most revered trophy in the sport.
With three green jackets already in his closet, Phil knows what it takes to win at Augusta. But while experience is on Phil’s side, time is not. At 46 years and 294 days young, Phil is closer to his Champions Tour eligibility in 2020 than his last Masters victory in 2010.
If Mickelson can keep the magic going this week and somehow win the green jacket, it would undoubtedly make for one of the most memorable Masters tournaments in history. A win by Phil would make him the oldest player to ever win the green jacket, a distinction currently held by Jack Nicklaus at 46 years, 82 days. Phil would also join Nicklaus, Tiger and Arnold Palmer as the only players in history to win four green jackets.
In order to get there, Phil will have to contend with some heavy favorites, including Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, and Rickie Fowler to name a few. With Dustin Johnson, the tournament favorite, out of the race, Mickelson has an even larger chance at the big win. He will also have to negotiate some blustery conditions at Augusta National this week, but if his first round is any indication, Phil is up to the challenge.
The 2017 Masters Vegas Odds:
*Before DJ’s withdrawal
A lot can happen over the next three days, but rest assured that Jim Nantz is already taking notes for his final call on Sunday summarizing an unprecedented Mickelson victory.
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