Cabrera, Snedeker lead as Tiger lurks in Augusta Masters
Masters co-leaders Angel Cabrera and Brandt Snedeker prepared for yesterday's back-nine drama at the Masters while top-ranked Tiger Woods and thunderstorms threaten to scuttle their title hopes
The final round began under overcast skies at Augusta National with Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion from Argentina, and American Snedeker, a winner this year at Pebble Beach with three other top-three efforts, in the final pairing. Cabrera and Snedeker stood on seven-under par 209 after 54 holes, one stroke ahead of Australian Adam Scott with Aussies Jason Day and Marc Leishman on 211, American Matt Kuchar on 212 and Woods and South African Tim Clark on 213.
Woods, a 14-time major champion chasing the all-time record 18 majors won by Jack Nicklaus, will try to win a major for the first time when he has not at least shared the lead after 54 holes. Woods, seeking his first green jacket since taking his fourth in 2005, ignored calls by some to withdraw after a controversy erupted over an improper drop Friday at the 15th.
Augusta National’s competition committee chose to impose only a two-stroke penalty on Woods rather than have him disqualified for a rules violation, an option available only because of a rule change passed in August of 2011.
Rousing reception for China’s teen Guan
Guan Tianlang’s historic debut at the Masters ended with a rousing reception from fans gathered around Augusta National’s famous 18th hole on Sunday.
Playing his final round in the company of 55-year old Scot Sandy Lyle, the 1988 Masters champion, the 14-year-old Chinese schoolboy carded a three-over 75 which left him at 12-over 300 for the tournament. At that stage, he was third from bottom of the 61-strong field that survived the cut, but Guan had already left an indelible mark on the tournament as the youngest-ever player to compete in the Masters and the second youngest in any of the major tournaments. Words of praise apart, there was silverware for Guan too in the form of the Silver Cup that goes to the top amateur, as long as he completes all 72 holes.