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Last Updated: Monday, 12 April, 2004, 09:40 GMT 10:40 UK
Mickelson kept faith
Mickelson finally sheds the tag of the 'best golfer never to win a major'
Phil Mickelson said his self-belief never wavered as he finally ended his hunt for a major title with victory at the Masters on Sunday.

"I kept saying to myself that this was my day," said the American left-hander, who sank an 18-foot birdie putt at the 18th to see off Ernie Els.

"I just kept believing that something good was going to happen.

"With it having been such a tough journey it feels even better," said Mickelson at the end of his 47th major.

At one point during the final round, Mickelson trailed Els by three shots but he produced a storming back nine to claim the coveted Green Jacket.

"I cannot believe I shot 31 on the back nine to win by one," said Mickelson.

You'll be seeing my mug here every year for the rest of my life - I just can't wait for the first week in April
Phil Mickelson

"Because Ernie was ahead of me I was thinking if I can make this putt on 12 and birdie 13, I'll only be a shot behind. I cannot believe I birdied 16 and 18."

Mickelson's winning putt only just crept inside the left-hand side of the hole.

"I couldn't believe it hung on and fell in," he said. "I looked like an idiot (when I celebrated) but I didn't care."

Mickelson now has a lifetime exemption to the tournament.

"You will be seeing my mug here every year for the rest of my life and I just can't wait for the first week in April," he said.



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Masters champion Phil Mickelson
"This was my day"



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