AUGUSTA, Ga. — No player has won the Masters with a triple bogey during the tournament.
Phil Mickelson had two this year, and that kept him from slipping into the green jacket for the fourth time Sunday.
Mickelson, who started the round a shot behind Peter Hanson for the lead, finished tied for third at 8-under-par 280, two shots out of a playoff that included eventual winner Bubba Watson and Louis Oosthuizen.
It is Mickelson’s eighth top-three finish at Augusta National Golf Club.
“Well, it was a great opportunity to collect another green jacket,” Mickelson said. “It was a fun day playing in the last group, a beautiful day here at Augusta. I hit a ton of good shots the back nine trying to make something happen, and I just couldn’t get the ball in the hole to catch Louis and Bubba.
“So it made for an exciting back nine. A lot of people made runs. Peter and I, we tried to make a run; we hit a lot of good shots, just couldn’t quite capitalize on the green.”
Mickelson couldn’t overcome his mistake on the fourth hole. He also made a triple-bogey 7 on the 10th hole in the first round.
He was two shots out of the lead when he approached the par-3 hole and hit his tee shot left of the green into the woods. It took him two shots to get out of the woods, and then he needed a nice shot from the sand trap and a short putt for his 6.
“Where the pin was was the hardest par on the golf course because on that hole certainly, you can’t be in the bunker,” Mickelson said. “And not only that, you can’t be on the green right at the pin and be able to make par, so tactically what I try to do there is aim left of the pin, and I try to hit either the left edge or in the bunker or just left of the bunker where I’m chipping up the green, chipping into the slope.
“If it goes into people and stops right there, no problem. If it goes into the grandstand, no problem. It hit the metal railing and shot in the trees. And not only was it unplayable, but I couldn’t take an unplayable. There was no place to go other than back to the tee. So I took the risk of trying to hit it a few times.”
Still, Mickelson had a shot to win. He got back to 6 under by the ninth hole and then birdied the 13th and 15th to reach 8 under. But he finished with four straight pars, unable to make one final charge.
“Even after that triple, I birdied the three par-5s, had many chances to make birdies and wasn’t able to get the ball to go in,” Mickelson said. “They were just coming right up to the edge and just not quite peaking in. I had a fun day.
“It’s disappointing that I didn’t grab that fourth green jacket. It’s disappointing that I didn’t make it happen on the back nine and get the putts to fall, even though I felt like I was hitting them pretty good. I gave them all good chances, I just couldn’t quite get them to go.”