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Last Updated:  Sunday, 13 April, 2003, 01:28 GMT 02:28 UK
Masters in the balance
BBC Sport's Ken Brown
Ken Brown
BBC Sport in Augusta

World number one Tiger Woods
Woods produced an awesome performace on Saturday
Saturday's story was undoubtedly the performance of Tiger Woods.

For most of the morning it looked like he was going to miss the cut. And he had to make a very tricky up-and-down to stay in the tournament.

But afterwards he said missing the cut hadn't even crossed his mind, which speaks volumes.

In the afternoon he played perfect golf, shooting 33-33 for a bogey-free 66. It was a round that has put him right back into contention for an incredible third green jacket in a row.

After the second round the bookies were offering 20-1 for Woods to win - but now he would their favourite again. Incredible.

But for most of the day it looked like the winner was going to be Mike Weir, who has putted quite beautifully here.

Justin Rose has really impressed me
He will be disappointed with his third-round 75, but he was a little unlucky at times, particularly on the par-five 13th where he carded a bogey after just missing the green with his second shot.

But the key for Weir is putting. He is not that long off the tee but from within six feet he has been brilliant - he will have to show more of that on Sunday.

Lawrie's encouraging form

Jeff Maggert, the surprise third-round leader, is similar to Weir in that he is not very long, which is supposed to be fatal here.

But Maggert is straight, and his putter was hot on Saturday and it brought him an eight-birdie 66.

If Maggert has a problem it's that he doesn't have much pedigree as a front-runner. He's been in contention a couple of times at big events, but not for a while, and not with much success.

The biggest disappointment for me was Darren Clarke, who I really thought was set up to do well here after that incredible first round. The nine he took on 13 completely took the wind out of his sails.

Phil Mickelson follows the flight of his ball
Mickelson could be the man to take Tiger Woods' green jacket away
But Paul Lawrie's display was much more encouraging, and he is not out of it by any stretch of the imagination. He's just played steady golf for three rounds - if the wind gets up, who knows?

Another Brit who has impressed me is Justin Rose. A top-16 finish - which would earn him an invite to next year's tournament - is very much within his sights.

In terms of a winner I think you have to look at Woods, Weir, Vijay Singh or Phil Mickelson, who has scrambled his way around Augusta in his usual hit-or-miss fashion. But despite the bogeys that go with the birdies, Mickelson is my pick for the green jacket.





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