Saturday, April 13, 2013

Masters Set For Big Finish, (Barring Any Rule Hijinks)

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Unless there’s another overnight ruling and score change, Brandt Snedeker and Angel Cabrera will lead the 2013 Masters by a stroke over a power-packed leaderboard going into today’s final round.

Snedeker, winner of the AT&T Pebble Beach this year, and 2009 Masters champ Cabrera, with his son as his caddie, each shot 69 Saturday to move to 7-under. They took the lead late when second round co-leaders Jason Day and Fred Couples stumbled coming in.

Eleven players are five strokes or less from a share of the lead, including Tiger Woods, who left the course Friday at 3-under par but teed off Saturday at 1-under. Augusta National reviewed video Saturday morning before the third round began and added a two-stroke penalty to Woods’ score for an improper drop he’d made after hitting a ball that went off the flagstick and into the pond on his approach shot to No. 15 green Friday; that bogey 6 was changed to an 8.

Woods has won 14 majors, including four Masters, but he’s never come from behind to win any of them; he’s 3-under and trails by four now.

Day shot a 73 and held at least a share of Saturday’s lead until bogeys on 17 and 18. Couples, at age 53 trying to become the oldest player to win a Masters, lost five strokes over the final five holes, including a triple on 17, to finish at even par after three rounds.

A couple of things to note today: Snedeker had 16 of 17 rounds in the 60s earlier this year; when Snedeker was third at The Masters five years ago, he shot 77 in the final round; Rory McIlroy shot 79 with a triple on 11 and double on 15 Saturday; Phil Mickelson shot a first-round 71 but 76-77 since; Cabrera, “Big Pato,” birdied 16 and 18 Saturday and is a fan favorite in Augusta, not just in his home of Argentina.