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It’s only day 3….But

We are only at the entrance-way of the grand finale that is the last day of the Masters, but there are already so many wonderful lessons that we can learn from the first 3 days.

In particular, the manner that 3-time Champion, Phil Mickelson has conducted himself and how he has set the stage for could be one of the fabled tournament’s most splendid Sundays.

In modern vernacular let’s call this the “APP’s”:

ATTITUDE. Winning golf, no matter at what level is all about your attitude. How you approach a final round. If you embrace the fact that in this game, things do not always go your way (in Thursdays’ first round, Phil Mickelson was a dismal 4-over par after 12 holes and seemingly out of it. He managed to birdie his last two holes to record a manageable 2-over par, 74).

PATIENCE.  Mickelson made 9 straight pas to begin his third round on Saturday, before exploding to shoot a back nine 30, which propelled him to a 3 day score of 8 under par and just one shot behind leader, Peter Hanson. You cannot try to overpower Augusta National and shoot at every pin. Depending on pin placements, weather and tournament circumstance, Par, is a very good score on many of the holes.

PASSION. Mickelson loves the Masters, and embraces its’ history and tradition so much, that he was on the first tee to watch the Big 3 (Nicklaus, Palmer and Player) hit their ceremonial tee shots to begin the event. It was 7 hours before his tee time yet Mickelson had this to say “I’ve been wanting to do that every year, and this worked out great because I had the last tee time,” Mickelson said. “It’s an experience that I really enjoyed — watching those guys hit it, what they have meant to the game of golf. They’re the Big Three and they brought the game to where it is. Anybody who has a chance to come to the Masters, it’s worth getting up early to watch those guys tee off.”

Or this excerpt from his post-round interview after Saturdays’ magnificent 66, which propelled him into contention:  “I love it here, and I love nothing more than being in the last group on Sunday at the Masters. It’s the greatest thing in professional golf.”

It will to be his fourth final round pairing in the last 9 Masters.

There is still so much yet to be written as we sit enthralled to watch the last round. There is the old adage that the Masters’ doesn’t really begin until the final 9 holes on Sunday. Very true. However, the very fact that Mickelson is in contention at all is testament to all his “Apps”.