By Andy North
Special to
Sunday, April 8

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The best players in our game stood up Sunday at The Masters, and Tiger Woods still beat them. That makes what happened even more remarkable.

 Tiger Woods
With the exception of a poor tee shot at the 12th, Tiger Woods was flawless on the back nine.
There are six players that are above everybody else -- Woods, Phil Mickelson, David Duval, Vijay Singh, Davis Love III and Ernie Els. In the final round, we had Woods, followed by Duval, Mickelson and Els in fifth place. That's unbelievable.

At Augusta, the only thing like it was 1975, when you had Jack Nicklaus, Tom Weiskopf and Johnny Miller battling down the back nine. It was that kind of a finish.

What Woods did at the 11th hole was unreal. That's a scary shot, even from 150 yards. You could stand there literally 50 times and you couldn't hit a ball as close as he hit that one. I don't remember a shot like that at that hole ever, and I've been around here for 25 years.

Duval will have to wait 24 hours or so, but when he thinks about this he'll be very proud of how he performed. He hit two shots that he can't believe went as far as they did -- on No. 4 and No. 16. Other than that, he played great. He would have loved to make one or two putts near the end, but he hit good putts every time. Sometimes, they just don't go in.

Mickelson looked a little tired to me. He's been in contention five weeks in a row, and that's really tough. That's a lot of stress. He made 25 birdies this week -- the most of anybody. He just made too many mistakes, and in major championships, it's not always the guy who makes the most birdies. It's the guy who makes the fewest errors. Mickelson just gave too many shots back.

It will be interesting how Mickelson bounces back. He's a tough guy. Most of the years in this event, a score like his is good enough to win. He just didn't this year.

Woods is just remarkable. I didn't think it was possible to do what he did in this age. He played the back nine almost perfectly. He misjudged a shot at the 12th, but other than that, he played textbook golf on the last nine.

Look at his last six majors; he's somewhere near 75-under par. That's unbelievable in major championships. That's unheard of. To be able to average 3-under per round for the last six majors is absolutely a remarkable achievement.

And this may be the start of something even more remarkable. We saw the Tiger Slam. Maybe we'll see the actual Grand Slam.

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Woods wins second Masters, place in history