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Masters 2009

Augusta - 9-12 April, 2009




Angel Cabrera

Highlights - Final round of The Masters

Angel Cabrera of Argentina won his first Masters title after beating Kenny Perry and Chad Campbell in a play-off.

Cabrera secured his second major with a par at the 10th - the second extra hole - after Perry had missed the green and failed to get up and down.

Perry, 48, earlier had a putt to win the tournament at the 72nd hole but it slid by for a bogey.

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods had mounted stunning efforts only to come up just short in the last few holes.

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By Ben Dirs

PLAY-OFF - CABRERA BEATS PERRY AT SECOND EXTRA HOLE

0034: To the Butler Cabin, and Cabrera perches between his translator and Trevor Immelman like a naughty boy waiting to be caned. But here we go, Trevor does the honours, and how about that, the Green Jacket fits a treat. "The Masters is back," says the BBC's Wayne Grady, "it's been the best for many years", and it's hard to disagree, it's been tremendous. Thanks for being with us the last four days, see you next year.

0031: "I played beautifully all the way to 17," says Kenny Perry, "but I lost the tournament and it could be my last chance..." Perry is very gracious in defeat, but it will be Angel Cabrera who'll be sliding into the green silk any moment now...

0025: Only six tour wins for Cabrera, and two of them have been majors. Perry looks like he's seen the ghost of Bobby Jones as he trudges disconsolately from the 10th green, that's a cruel, cruel ending for the man from Kentucky.

0021: Perry needs to hole this long-range effort... but it stays low and Cabrera has two for the championship... Cabrera's first putt curls wide, but no mistake with his second - he taps in from a few inches, punches the air and that's some effort from the Argentine, now a two-time major winner.

0020: Perry has got a backswing at least, which is a start, but he seems to catch his chip thin and his ball races past the hole. He'll be putting again.

0016: Here's Perry, ball slightly above his feet, and he's tugged it left of the green. A couple more skips and he's in a bush, but I think he'll have a shot. Cabrera now... and what a shot that is, the ball landing on the front edge and skipping to within 10 feet or so. Advantage Cabrera, and he affords himself a guilty little smile as he bounds towards the green.

0013: Poor old Campbell gets a microphone stuck up his hooter as soon as he's off the course, when all he wants to do is hug his wife and cry.

0010: A short stroll to the 10th tee and Cabrera pulls out his three wood... and that's perfect, sending his ball bounding down the fairway. Two terrific drives, although Perry will have the ball well above his stance for his second.

PLAY-OFF - PERRY, CAMPBELL & CABRERA

0009: Cabrera rolls his par putt in, and Perry is generous with the applause. Good form. BUT IT'S ALL OVER FOR CHAD CAMPBELL! His attempt is rather tentative, a little stab to the right, and it's two men standing.

0006: What a shot from Perry - he comes up a foot short with his chip, before strolling up and tapping it in for par. And that's spunky from Campbell, splashing out to within four or five feet. Cabrera and Campbell with putts to take it to the 10th...

0005: Cabrera, frankly, looks like he couldn't give a monkey's whether he wins or loses, and I like that. And what a shot that is - no mucking about, a couple of practice swings before stiffing one to eight feet from the pin. Touche.

0003: Perry doesn't like that, he's pushed his right and just short of the bunker... and Campbell, with it all on a plate, finds the sand... remarkable, Cabrera's probably the favourite again.

0000: Horrible times for the wives. Campbell's can at least look, Perry's has her head buried in her hands. Cabrera is in horrendous trouble, stuck right behind a tree trunk measuring three feet across. He evades that one, but his ball ricochets off another and finds the middle of the fairway. He'll at least have a straight-forward shot in.

2355: The first three-way Masters play-off since 1987, the year Larry Mize shattered Greg Norman's heart with that chip. Here goes: Campbell is off first and pings his drive to the right of the fairway. Good enough. Cabrera blinks first, carving his drive into the trees. But Perry holds firm, drilling his drive down the middle.

2354: Wayne Grady, who's been here before after leading the 1989 Open at Troon only to be rumbled by Mark Calcavecchia in a play-off, has pretty much written Kenny Perry off. Too emotionally shredded, thinks Wayne.

"Did Peter Allis just say go and get the kettle on? Surely he knows caffeine after 2pm leads to unbalanced sleep?"
Anon via text on 81111

2344: This to be the oldest winner ever of a major... BUT HE'S LEFT IT SHORT! Perry finishes five-five, and the camera shows Campbell marching off to the range... AND CABRERA'S IN FOR PAR! THREE-WAY PLAY-OFF! See you in five, I need a lie-down... by the way, the play-off holes are 18 and 10, and it goes on until someone wins.

2342: Perry stalks the green for a minute or so, but once he's settled he wastes little time... and that's not bad at all, the ball gripping and stopping 15 feet from the hole. A chance for victory. But Cabrera's is better, he's got a six-footer for par. A three-man play-off looks favourite.

2339: Cabrera shapes to hit his second on 18, before pulling out his yardage book and having a rethink. He settles back down and makes a poor swing, his ball finishing short and right. Here's Perry out of the bunker... and there's no Sandy fairytale, he's tweaked it left. Good luck getting up and down from there.

2334: Flinty from Cabrera, who slams his drive straight down the middle at 18. Perry draws his round too much... and he's in the bunker... Campbell at 17, and his birdie putt doesn't break left. He's in the clubhouse on 12 under after a fine round of 69. But I don't think that's where he'll be heading. Furyk makes a good save for a 73 and seven under. Only one man in the top 13 not under par today, and I stuck money on him.

2331: Well done Kenny Perry - he drains his six-footer to drop back to 13 under. Cabrera knocks in for par, he's just one behind going down the last.

Kenny Perry

Highlights - Perry birdies the 16th

2329: Perry's par putt from off the green leaves him with a knee-trembler for bogey. Chad Campbell with a doozy of a second out of the light rough, he'll have a long putt for birdie.

2327: Oh dear, that's blacksmith stuff from Perry, flying his pitch past the hole and the ball curling off the front of the green. Better from Cabrera, he'll stay 12 under. This is getting interesting.

2323: Lovely splash-out from Campbell at 17 and he makes par. Anyone with an each way bet on Furyk will be saddened to learn he made bogey to fall back to seven under. Perry's second finds the side of the 17th green, no great dramas, he wasn't in too much schtuck off the tee after all.

"It's the most stunning day I've had at Augusta. I wasn't really in contention and just tried hard to soak it all up. I left a lot of putts short, I really didn't make a lot of putts outside of 20 feet.

"I've got a couple of bits of crystal to take home with me. I'm just going to stick to things - I'm comfortable with how things are going. I'll keep grinding away."
Justin Rose after his final-round 71

2319: Angel puts manners on his tee shot at 17 and he's in position A. But Perry squirts his tee shot right - he's in the woods. GO SHINGO! Katayama drains a 25-footer at the last for birdie, a round of 68 and 10 under overall. He's had a great week.

"No flair, eh? That was probably the shot that wins Perry the Masters."
TC, in Pimlico via text on 81111

2316: Lordy, Lordy, Kenny Perry's nearly aced the 16th... and Cabrera's sunk a birdie! Snaking left-to-righter from 10 feet and he moves to within one of Perry... for about 20 seconds, until Perry taps in to move to 14 under. Perry two shots clear of Campbell, who finds the bunker with his second at 17. Perry can start dreaming of the Butler Cabin.

2308: Angel pops in for birdie at 15 and is two off the lead at 11 under, back to where he started. Does Katayama shower in his cowboy boots, says someone, somewhere, as the Japanese bends in a 10-foot left-to-righter to move to nine under.

"It's been an amazing week on my first Masters, making a hole-in-one at the par three and then coming out like this.

"It's a great set-up. It's been a huge week - I came here with not much expectations and got some confidence and made some putts early on and it just rolled on."
John Merrick after a final-round 66

2306: Tremendous putt from long range from Perry, and he should pop that three-footer in for birdie. Long old par putt from Tim Clark at 18 as a train whistles eerily by in the distance, a rare reminder that there is a world beyond these fairways. Perry does make birdie, he's now 13 under... Campbell's birdie putt at 16 ducks across the face and that, ladies and gents, could be that... unless, unless... he makes par to stay one back.

2302: Campbell is all over the pin like a cheap suit with his tee shot at 16. Shingo splashes out at 17, but his ball races many feet by. Lovely touch from Cabrera from just off the green, he'll have a short one for birdie to move to 11 under.

2258: Perry into the 15th green, and the ball drifts down the ridge and away from the hole. Massive eagle putt. Cabrera appears to catch his approach fat, but it's a good result, he'll have a chip on from close range.

2255: Furyk almost holes his eagle chip at 15, but the ball races eight feet by. Campbell's eagle putt stays high, but he pops in to join Perry atop the leaderboard. Furyk's birdie putt refuses to disappear, and he's breaking my heart... eight under...

2249: Perry has plenty of chicken on that bone, but he pops in a niggly par putt at 15 to stay 12 under. Katayama still firing from the hip and hitting his targets - Katayama bends in a left-to-righter to move to nine under. Westwood back in 42 for a round of 79, and he finishes on three over. Double bogey at 7, 15, 16 and 17, and a bogey to finish off. He'll need a long lie down in a very dark dark room. Poulter also bogeys 18 for a 74 and two under overall.

2245: Campbell and Furyk both make par at 14, Campbell to stay 11 under, Furyk to stay eight under. Strange round from Steve Stricker today, he rather turned up to the final day party with a packet of Cheesy Wotsits and a four-pack of Hofmeister - one over through 14 for six under overall.

2242: That handshake between world's numbers one and two was so frosty you half expected them to fuse into one block of ice. Shame, because they provided some fireworks between them today. Perry and Cabrera hit to within 20 feet with their second shots at 14.

2237: Mickelson in grave danger of dropping a shot at 18 - his flop on grips but fails to fall back towards the hole. And drop a shot he does - back in 37 for a round of 67 and nine under overall. Perry finds the fairway off the 14th tee, Woods finishes with bogey-bogey for a round of 68 and eight under overall.

"It just wasn't meant to be. I didn't hit enough wedge shots close and I dropped shots on six, nine and ten. There was a lot going on today. The pins were accessible and the greens were receptive, so it was a good day to be out there. It was always going to be a long wait after winning those two majors last year but you can't change that and I'm pleased I did!"
Padraig Harrington after a 73

2233: I can only assume Perry was hampered by having one arm in the Green Jacket there - he squirts his eagle putt past the hole at 13, and then misses coming back. Shots gone. Cabrera gets back to 10 under with a tap-in for birdie. Mickelson came up short with his second at 18.

2231: Westwood's week has taken a turn for the worse, he's got bogeys all over his face. Double bogeys at 15 and 16, to add to the double bogey at 7, and he's back at even par. Woods in trouble down the 18th - his second hits the trunk of a pine tree flush and ricochets, aptly, behind a weeping willow.

2225: Furyk has had his chance to day, but he can't make anything drop - missed eagle putt at 13, but he should get back to eight under. Mickelson finds sand off the tea at 18, while Woods finds pine straw. HIT IT CAMPBELL! He leaves his eagle putt an inch short at 13 and pops in to move to 11 under, one off the lead.

"I was just happy to finish below par. I double-bogeyed my first hole in the tournament, so to finish two under is very pleasing. I have played here 30-odd times and it is just producing the shots when you need to and my swing hasn't been allowing me to do that. But since I have reworked my swing my ball striking has improved."
Sandy Lyle after a closing 71

2221: Woods overcooks his chip across the 17th green and he'll have a tester coming back for par. Perry refusing to buckle, he slaps a perfect drive down 13. Woods misses right with his par putt at 17, and that could be his chance gone. Oh my, does Phillip want to win this or what? Another shortish one missed at 17 - another push - and he stays two off the lead at 10 under.

2217: TWO-SHOT LEAD FOR PERRY! He's only gone and sunk that putt from off the green at 12. Truly remarkable. Woods found trouble off the tee at 17 and has to bend his second short of the green. Katayama hasn't quite left town - birdie at the par-five 5th and he's eight under.

2213: It's The Shootout at Augusta National, and Camilo Villegas has just left town - bogey at the last to fall back to six under. A round of 69, though. Cabrera's birdie attempt at 11 stays just left and he stays nine under. Chad Campbell drains his 10-foot birdie putt at 12 to get back to 10 under and level with Woods and Mickelson. Furyk misses his, his challenge is fizzling.

2209: Perry is staying firmly rooted amid the chaos - great iron shot into the 11th green. Furyk and Campbell find the centre of the green with their tee shots at 12. This is almost too much - Perry's 15-foot birdie putt at 12 refuses to duck left and misses by two inches. He stays 11 under. Mickelson's birdie putt at 16 comes up just short... BUT NO MISTAKE FROM WOODS! Birdie, the man is hewn from flint, and he's one off the lead and level with Mickelson.

2204: The back nine is getting the better of Campbell again, he's just added bogey at 11 to dropped shot at 9 and is back to nine under. Furyk doesn't hit his birdie putt from six feet and stays seven under. I've got a horrible feeling about this - Woods' tee shot at 16 ends up eight feet from the cup, he's got a very makeable putt to get to one off the lead. Mickelson is half a club long. We do have the duel we all craved after all.

2200: Woods' long-range eagle attempt at 15 holds its line, but he taps in for birdie and moves to nine under. Inexplicably, Mickelson's putt swings straight across the face and it's a birdie when it could have been so much better. Still, he's now one off the lead. You won't see a better final day of a major, this is tremendous stuff.

2157: Perry currently doing a Faldo - his birdie putt at 10 veers left and he makes his 10th par on the trot. Cabrera, however, is looking a little gun-shy - his par putt stays up and he drops back to nine under and two off the lead.

McIlroy sets sights on 2010 Masters

2154: Outrageous shot from Hamilton at 12 - he finds water with his tee shot, before pitching over the back and spinning his ball about 40 feet back and into the cup. Par for five under. Anything you can do... Woods muscles his ball on in two at 15, before Mickelson gets his ball about 15 feet inside. He'll have an eight-footer for eagle and a share of the lead.

2150: Woods carves a huge tee shot down the middle at 15 and Mickelson also makes sure. Cabrera on 10, and he's pushed his second into the bunker guarding front-left. No mistakes from Perry though, he's safely into the guts of the green. Westwood's eagle putt at 13 stays up, but he makes birdie to move to four under. Camilo Villegas has got some sharp elbows on him at the moment - birdie, par, eagle, birdie between 13 and 17 to get to seven under.

2146: Woods slaps his par putt into the middle of the cup to stay eight under after 14. Merrick in with a 66 and the clubhouse lead at eight under. He might want to get himself down the range...

"We were surprised to see the pin sheets this morning - I think they are trying to inject some drama on the final day. When I saw the pin positions I thought the winner would come from the final group."
Graeme McDowell after a closing 69

2142: Steve Flesch still in the hunt, he's just rattled in a birdie putt at 15 to get to seven under. Woods' second at 14 spins off the top of the hill and rolls back, but he makes a great recovery and will have a three foot putt for par. Cabrera trollies his drive straight down the middle at 10, and Perry follows him down. Mickelson's birdie attempt at 14 horseshoes out... he stays two off the lead.

"It was a great week and I've thoroughly enjoyed myself and played some good golf today. We have got an absolutely perfect day, the greens are receptive and the leaders will be able to go at the flags and it will be a great shoot-out."
Defending champion Trevor Immelman after a closing 69

2140: Australia's Geoff Ogilvy has made five birdies in a row between 13 and 17 to get to five under - plenty of birdies to be had on the closing stretch. Sandy Lyle finished with a bogey for 71 and a very commendable two under overall. Padraig Harrington makes a third successive 73 for level par.

2135: As if by magic, the stardust disappears. Mistakes everywhere you look now, as Perry finds a bunker with his second at 9. He splashes out well, and should make par. Merrick with another very makeable birdie putt across 18, but it stays low. Magnificent putt from Cabrera, snaking a 30-footer to two feet. He makes par and is out in 37 for 10 under overall.

"It was a great way to end a really good week - one that I can take a lot from. I know I have the game to compete in majors now. I'm pretty good coming back to golf courses so maybe next year I'll come back and you never know. The pin positions are a bit generous and the guys are making the most of it. There is a score to be had out there."
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland

2130: Furyk is nausing up the 9th - he got to just in front of the green with his second, before flopping into the bunker with his third, and spraying wildly over the back with his fourth. That could be my money gone. Campbell misses with his par putt, he's back to 10 under, while Furyk eventually makes double bogey to drop back to seven under. Mickelson's eagle putt at 13 doesn't quite have the legs, but he's back at nine under, and it's the same for Woods, he's back at seven under... and whisper it quietly, he's not out of it yet...

2126: Just not dropping for Perry at the moment - his birdie putt at 8 doesn't break and he stays 11 under. Cabrera dodges a bullet, holing out for his par to stay 10 under. Not that he looks bothered, he looks like he's rummaging for odd bits of wood down his local lumber yard.

2122: Jim Furyk has found the trees with his drive at 9, while Cabrera is making a dog's dinner of the par-five 8th, that should be a bread and butter hole for El Pato. Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland is in with a 69 for four under overall, that makes him top European so far. Poulter has dropped a shot at the 10th to fall back to three under with Lee Westwood.

Phil Mickelson

Highlights - Mickelson tee shot on 6th

2118: My God this is good - John Merrick has just carded his fourth successive birdie at 16, he's eight under. Meanwhile, Furyk drains one for birdie at 8 - he's nine under. Perry flails his approach short and wide at 8, while Cabrera conjures up a J Arthur, shanking his about 50 yards down the fairway. Woods's birdie putt at 12 just stays out - he stays seven under, just one behind Mickelson, who makes double-bogey.

2112: Gossamer touch from Jim Furyk, who bumps and runs from off the 8th green and cosies up to the hole. What a four from Campbell at 8, he moves up to 11 under and a share of the lead. Alas, he has some demons to conquer on the back nine - one over down that stretch for the first three rounds. Woods safely, but unspectacularly on, at 12... MASSIVE MOMENT ALERT ... Mickelson under-clubs off the tee at 150-yard 12, going with nine iron, and finding Rae's Creek. Lovely shot of Mickelson practising his tee shot as the red-shirted Woods marches off into the distance.

2110: Mickelson with a lengthy putt for a tie of the lead, but his ball hasn't got the legs. Same with Tiger, but both men ram home their par putts. Stand behind the yellow line, here comes the John Merrick Choo-Choo! Birdies at 13, 14 and 15 and the unheralded American is seven under.

2105: Signs of nerves from Kenny Perry. He has an eight-footer for a two-shot lead, but it meekly dribbles off right. Par, and he stays 11 under. Cabrera with a neat chip-on and he makes par to stay one back. Campbell with a strange play - three wood off the tee at 8, and he finds a bunker. No getting on in two from there.

"It was a great day. I just wanted to go out and finish strongly. It was a nice way to finish - it was a tricky day again, the wind was gusty but when it died down you could make some birdies. It could have been a lot better but a 69 is pleasing. I felt like I've left a few shots out there and it wouldn't surprise me if there was a 66 or 65 out there."
England Ross Fisher

2103: Somehow Mickelson's ball has threaded through the trees and ended up almost perfect. That'll cheer Tiger up. Tiger finds the heart of the 11th with his second, and Mickelson follows him on. Katayama has nicked a shot back 7 to get back to seven under.

2101: Here's old Sandy on 16, and his birdie putt stays left and he stays three under. "Come to daddy," purrs Ken Brown as Perry stiffs his approach to within six feet. Cabrera, attempting to cut his approach, finds more sand. Two more crystal goblets to go! Someone wants to knock Justin Rose up a new trophy cabinet - his second eagle in three holes at 15.

2057: Furyk putting down the glacier at 7 - good weight, but it stays just left. Woods lashes his drive down 11, and Mickelson blinks, hooking into the threes. Rose with a pearling iron into the 15th, he'll have another stab at eagle.

2055: Woods wallowing in this bun-fight with Mickelson - he makes another supreme clutch putt to stay seven under, before Mickelson taps in to stay 10 under. Hunter Mahan makes birdie at 12 to move to six under. Campbell with a snaking birdie putt at 6, but it stays left.

2053: Woods, putting through the shadows of overhanging branches, comes up short with his birdie putt at 10. Perry makes par at 6, Cabrera leaves his birdie putt high. Furyk with a searching iron into the 7th, he'll have a slippery one coming back downhill.

2051: I believe Woods is on in two at 10, but Mickelson comes up short. Kenny Perry pulls his tee shot at 6, he'll have a creepy-crawly chip across the green. Much better from Cabrera, flying the bunker and finishing 15 feet from the hole. Mickelson pulls out one of the four wedges he keeps in his bag and dribbles to within a couple of feet. That should be par.

Tiger Woods

Highlights - Woods eagle putt on 8th

2046: Jim Furyk, like a soldier crawling through no-man's land as grenades go off all around him, is going along quietly - par at 6, he stays eight under. Great run down the stretch from Rory McIlroy - birdies at 13, 15, 16 and 17 and he finishes with a 70 for two under overall. Well done Sir... he will be...

2044: Cabrera has a bit of a shocker at 5, his chip-on gets tangled up in the undulations, bends away from the hole and can only make bogey. Perry with par stays 11 under, he's now the outright leader. Mickelson and Woods hammer-dammer-ding-dong their drives at 10. That's for you, Rich via texton 81111 ...

2039: Woods makes another clutch par putt at 9 and he's out in 33. Justin Rose with eagle at 13, he's back to level par. Westwood pulls his birdie putt at 8 to remain three under... Mickelson holds his nerve for par at 9, he's out in a sizzling 30.

2036: Woods with a ratty little chip at 9, but he gets away with it, the ball just holding up. But that's peche de la peche from Mickelson, splashing out to within a couple of feet. He's got that to match the front-nine record of 30. Cabrera found sand with his tee shot at 5 and can only nudge it down the fairway. Perry finds the heart of the green with his second.

2034: Furyk putts from off the putting surface for birdie at 5 - he's back to eight under. Katayama drops a shot at 5, he's back at six under.

2031: Mickelson finds a bunker guarding the front of the 9th green with his escape from the pine straw, while Woods slices his approach short and right. Still haven't tracked down those roars... stardust everywhere you look, here's McDowell with a 30-footer for birdie at 14 to move to three under.

Phil Mickelson

Highlights - Mickelson tee shot on 6th

2028: In the time it takes Kenny Perry to take aim and roll his birdie putt just by at 4, three enormous cheers erupt around Augusta. Either Mickelson and Woods are engaged in a spot of knuckles over on the 9th fairway, or there've been three pretty special shots. I'll keep you posted... Cabrera can only bogey the 4th, Perry pars and they're both now 11 under atop the leaderboard.

2025: Woods finds the first cut with his tee shot at 9, Mickelson may well be in a spot of bother. Cabrera with a pretty mediocre sand escape at 4, he'll struggle to make par. Chad Campbell rolls in for par at 4 to stay four under. Here's Immelman at the last, the defending champion in with his best round of the week, a 69.

2020: Mickelson leaves himself an uphill five-footer after a decent chip at 8. News reaches me that Justin Rose has double-bogeyed 9 and 11 to drop back to two over. Harrington eagles 13 to move to one over, while Sandy's birdie putt at the same hole refuses to jump. But he stays three under. Cheers bounce all over Augusta National as Woods, like a boxer bouncing off the ropes and landing with a haymaker, drains his eagle putt at 8 to climb to seven under. Mickelson gets a couple of punches in himself though, picking up a shot to move to 10 under.

2018: Poulter's birdie attempt at 7 stays right, Westwood makes six, drops to three under, and his very faint chances go up in smoke.

2014: Here's Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell with an eight-foot birdie at 13 - he made double bogey at 12, but is back to two under. Woods comfortably on in two at the par-five 8th, his dander is well and truly up. Mickelson finds the hump to the right of the green with his second, honours pretty much even. Westwood leaves a bunker shot in, and he'll drop a shot at 7... and we have a new outright leader: Cabrera drains an edgy eight-footer to move to 12 under. Perry flies six feet by, but shows spunk to save.

2011: Cabrera, who takes divots the size of Cornwall, gets on in two at the 3rd, as Furyk's dinky chip at 4 curls just short. Shingo's whip-cracking his way up the leaderboard - birdie at 2 and he's seven under. Sean O'Hair hovering - birdie at 6 and he's five under.

2008: Ian Poulter misses his par putt at 6 to drop back to four under, but playing partner Westwood makes par to stay five under. Paul Casey of England in for a 69 and two under overall. Woods marmalises his drive down the 570-yard 8th, as Campbell drains a chip at 3 to get to 10 under...

2002: Sandy Lyle making a play for the top 10 - birdie at 12, he's three under. Cabrera's birdie putt comes up short at 2 and he taps in for par to stay 11 under. Woods' birdie putt at 7 lips out, he's one man who won't be enjoying Mickelson's Masters Special. Perry's birdie putt slides by, but he makes his par putt disappear. Steady start from the leaders... Woods rolls in for par at 7, Mickelson makes birdie... the first traces of that Mona Lisa smile as he's feted by the Augusta patrons.

1958: Cabrera with a super second at 2, he'll have a lazy lob-on. Flesch puts together five successive pars to stay six under. Woods smarting as the wind gusts and takes his second shot to the left of the 7th green. Oh... my... word... you won't see a better shot than that in a thousand Masters - Mickelson bends his second round the trees and the ball trots coltishly up onto the green and stops three feet from the cup. Nine under, baby, nine under...

1956: Mickelson hooks his tee shot into the first cut down the 7th, and here's Perry nudging out of the pine straw on the 2nd. Furyk with a big mis-read at 2, but he taps in for par to stay eight under. Chad Campbell lengthy putt across 2 stays low, he'll have a tricky par putt.

1952: Mickelson was just about to putt when Ken Brown appeared on my screen mucking about on the greens... news of Anthony Kim, who's slipped back to level par after his fourth bogey in 7 holes. Lefty makes sure at 6 to move to eight under. The patrons are lapping this up, it's magnificent.

1950: Pars for Perry and Cabrera at 1, no dramas there. Woods misses right with his birdie putt at 6, but makes sure coming back. Poulter drains a 10-footer at 5 to move to five under, Tim Clark of South Africa is going in the wrong direction - double bogey at 4 and he's two under overall. The par-three tournament jinx goes on.

1948: Westwood and Poulter both find the heart of the green with their seconds at 5. Cabrera sends his chip and run just past the hole at 1, Perry comes up just short. Ross Fisher is in with a 69 for one under overall, and that's a fine Masters debut from the Englishman.

1946: Mickelson at the par-three 6th... AND GET INSIDE THAT, TIGER! Lefty lands it on a tea-towel to within four feet. He even gets a "good shot" from Tiger's caddie. Woods lock and loads and stiffs his to within 15 feet.

1943: Did I mention Furyk made par at the 1st? So too did Chad Campbell. Here's Cabrera with his second at 1, and he joins Perry in the hollow to the right of the green. Mahan gets to six under with a birdie at 7... STOP MAKING BIRDIES, MY FINGERS ARE ON FIRE! Casey has birdied 15 and 16 to get to three under.

1942: Unerring from Woods, who makes his clutch eight-footer for par to stay at five under. Westwood with a 20-footer for birdie at 4, but it doesn't break and he stays five under. Steve Flesch buries a 10-foot saver at 7 to stay six under.

1939: Hello again, and thanks again to Pranav... Woods comes up well short again with his long, bending birdie putt at 5 and Tiger's getting his pants pulled down by Mickelson at the moment - the world number two curls in an eight-footer for another birdie. Seven under.

1936: To slightly paraphrase the Kings of Leon - "This Phil is on fire". Mickelson thumps the most perfect second shot to within three metres of the hole on the fifth. Birdie number three is surely in the bag. Or hole. Leaders Kenny Perry and Angel Cabrera find the fairway with their tee shots on the first. And it's goodbye from me and back to Dirsy. Night.

"So far Phil looks like a winner and Tiger a broken man."
VeniceBeach on 606
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1931: Paul Casey follows up his birdie on the 13th with another on the par-five 15 to move to two under on the leaderboard. Vijay Singh is finding his groove, following up a birdie on the sixth with another on the seventh to climb to four under.

1927: Tiger's touch on the greens has been lacking this week as the world number one rolls a long putt on the fourth a good six metres beyond the hole, but he sinks the potentially tricky par putt. Mickelson's birdie putt also goes wide, but he nails the par with a solid-looking strike.

1923: "I finished off the chicken, demolished my Easter egg and, after pulling on the comfort pants I'm ready for the action to begin. Ingredients for an interesting finish are certainly present."
Ben, Sussex via text 81111

1921: Justin Rose moves to two under with a birdie at the eighth, while Steve Stricker, seven under at the start of the day, sends a perfect second shot on the first hole just short of the pin for what should be a certain birdie.

1918: Mickelson is sizzling right now - the left-hander's tee shot on the fourth lands on the green about 20m from the pin. Birdie number three is very much on the horizon for the Californian.

1916: Hello again. Woods hooks a horrid tee shot on the fourth wide of the green straight into some very worried-looking spectators. The left hand comes off the shaft as soon as his swing was finished, a sure-fire sign that things are not rosy. Meanwhile Vijay Singh sends a belter of a second shot to within three yards of the pin on the seventh.

1912: Westwood with a great recovery at 2 and he'll tap in for par to stay five under. Woods' birdie putt at 3 comes up short, he'll have a four-footer for par. Poulter makes a solid par at 2 to stay four under. I'm off for some tucker, Pranav Soneji will be your host for half an hour or so... Mickelson with birdie at 3, he's six under... Bye!

1909: Canada's Stephen Ames, owner of the whitest teeth in sport, moves to the big group at five under with birdie at 2. Mickelson unsheathes his lob wedge and stiffs the ball to within five feet at 3. Not so clever from Woods, it will take some putt for birdie from where he is.

1906: McIlroy picks up a shot at 9 and he's out in 39. Padraig Harrington made birdie at 6 to get back to one under, one behind playing partner Lyle. Woods finds the first cut with his drive at 3, and Mickelson cosies up behind him. Merrick gets to five under with birdie at 7. The old butterflies are rising already...

1903: Westwood chipped to within two feet for his birdie at 1, while playing partner Ian Poulter drained a cracking chip to make par and stay four under. Woods and Mickelson have made their moves - a birdie apiece at the 2nd, they're five under.

"Woods and Mickelson are competitive rivals and numbers one and two in the world. A few words have been said about each other recently but they both want to beat each other and get one up. Tiger was hitting it as ordinary as I have ever seen him hit it with a driver on the driving range."
Wayne Grady, BBC Sport at Augusta

1901: Just seen footage of Tiger's tee shot at 1, and it was a stinker, a wicked hook into the foliage. Mickelson hooked it the other way, and I'm not sure how they both ended up with pars. Casey putting together a good round, another birdie at 13 and he's one under.

1857: Some chat on 606 suggesting Tiger's not the player he was. That old Muhammad Ali line to commentator Howard Cossell springs to mind, but I don't think I can say it here. Mickelson and Woods have exchanged pars at the 1st... Westwood of Worksop has made birdie at 1 to move to five under, six shots off the lead.

1854: Augusta is a cruel, cruel world at times. Robert Allenby gets too thin a contact out of the bunker at 12 and his ball scuttles across the dance floor and disappears into Rae's Creek. He's looking at a big number. Justin Rose has nicked a shot back at 6 to move to one under. Full coverage kicks off at 1900 BST on BBC Two. Actually, it's just started...

1853: Australia's Stuart Appleby is putting together a decent round - birdie at 7 and 8, he's now two under. Anthony Kim hasn't exactly come out blazing, or maybe he has? Bogeys at 1 and 2, he's two under. Paul Casey falls back to even par after bogey at 12.

1848: Ian Poulter should be on the 1st tee by now, but if he isn't, he might want to get back to the clubhouse and change his strides - DJ Trahan's 'pants' are so red, he looks like he's got flames for legs. Steve Flesch chiselling into the leaders - he follows eagle at 2 with birdie at 3 to move to within five of the leaders.

1843: That's a ripper of a second from Bubba at 13, he'll have a 10-footer for eagle. Villegas birdies 2 to get back to three under. Woods and Mickelson should, now, have exchanged thunder on the 1st... John Merrick with another birdie at 5, he's now four under.

1840: McDowell picks up his third birdie of the day at 7 to move to three under. The Northern Irishman having a great week. Merrick with birdie at 3, Ogilvy with birdie at 4, they're both three under.

1835: Ben (see below), are you a corpulent man? Someone in my office wants their mental image fleshing out. You sound like a painting by Lucian Freud. Singh bogeys 3 to drop back to two under, while Harrington drops a stroke at the 6th to drop back to one under. He's being out-Augusta-d by playing partner Lyle at the moment.

"I've finished off the chicken, demolished my Easter egg and after pulling on the comfort pants I'm ready for the action to begin. Ingredients for an interesting finish are certainly present."
Ben, Sussex via text on 81111

1832: We're getting into the business end now - Hunter Mahan is out and pars the 1st, while southpaw Steve Flesch has made a rare eagle at 2 to move to five under. Fisher does make bogey at 12, while McIlroy has dropped another shot at 7 to fall back to four over.

1829: Paul Casey hoves into view at 11, and his approach with seven iron isn't bad at all. Anthony Kim bogeys 1 to fall back to three under. Here's Fisher with a raking putt through the shadows across the 12th, and his ball slides at least six feet by.

1826: Fisher into the heart of the green with an aggressive tee shot at 12. Camilo Villegas drops back to two under with a bogey at the 1st.

"According to the press idiots Tiger Woods wins every tournament so there is no point anyone else turning up. What on earth was that rubbish two days ago that he was biding his time?"
gwilymrj on 606
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1821: McIlroy running out of steam, he's just dropped another shot at 7. What a doozy of a putt from Fisher at 11, bending in a 10-footer for birdie to move to one under. John Merrick moves to three under with birdie at 3. Sandy back to two under after a birdie at 5. What a tournament the 1988 champ is having, only makes you wonder where it all went wrong.

1816: Ross Fisher coming through Amen Corner now, and he's just birdied 10 to get to even again. He's playing with Bubba Watson, and I get a real sense of deja vu as the American rather scuffs his approach. Fisher's distinctive Chigwellian tones float down the 11th as he consults, at length, with his caddie before stiffing a peach of an iron to within 10 feet.

1814: What a view as Ben Curtis lines up his second at the par-three 12th - his tee shot found Rae's Creek. It looks so delicious, you wouldn't know whether to play your shot off the grass or bow down and start licking it. Graeme McDowell gets another shot back at 5 to move to two under.

1810: Bluewestonian on 606 rightly points out that the pin position looks a lot easier on 11 than it has all week. Only 11 birdies there before today, we could be in for 10 or so today. Lyle drops back to one under with bogey at 4. Kevin Sutherland with the first eagle of the day at 13, that gets him back to six over and wins him a pair of crystal goblets.

1807: Double-bogey from McIlroy at the par-three 6th, he drops to three over. Playing partner Donald makes bogey and is one over. Vijay Singh makes par at the 1st, while Andres Romero makes the first birdie of the day at Amen Corner, draining a 15-footer at the devilish 11th to climb to eight over. Jimenez, with bogey at 12, now props up the leaderboard.

1804: Indeed Sivart (see below), indeed. I like to liken the last nine on Sunday to the final bend of a 10,000m race - all that track behind them and it all comes down to who's got the biggest stones and the best kick. Jimenez is in danger of being lapped at the moment, poor touch again at 12 and that could be another shot gone.

"It is said that the Masters does not start until the back nine on Sunday. I think that will apply today big time!"
sivart on 606
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1758: Cross your legs ladies and apply some make-up, Camilo Villegas, the most handsome man in sport, is about to enter the fray (thanks for the tip-off Will). Sir Sandy makes birdie at 3 to join playing partner Harrington on two under. Five majors between them, that's an intriguing little pairing.

1754: Aaron Baddeley is off to a belter with birdies at 2 and 3 to move to three under. Ross Fisher's sails have sagged courtesy of a bogey at 8. He's one over. Jimenez having a stinker - touch of a stevedore off the green at 11 and it looks like more shots dropped for the Spaniard. Another Spaniard in trouble is Sergio Garcia - double bogey at 4, he drops to one over.

"Furyk at 100-1 was an absolute steal on the exchange pre-tournament. Can see him winning, Cabrera second, with a spirited fight from Poulter to make top five."
LUXUNATOR
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1748: Henrik Stenson is falling through the field after bogeys at 3, 4 and 5. McDowell picks up a stroke at the par-three 3rd to get back to one under. Mike Weir misses with his eight-footer at 11 and drops to +7.

1745: Justin Rose of England bogeys the 1st to slip back to even par. And we have pictures from our American hosts over at CBS. Mike Weir first up on 11, and it's ugly, a fluffed chip.

1738: Oh deary, deary me, I've made, as Ron Atkinson was fond of saying before his little ricket, a little ricket. Mickelson and Woods are off in an hour. Sorry. Immelman drops back to one over after bogey at 4. To be honest, I haven't really seen much of Vijay this week, but he hasn't been tearing things up on tour so far this year: three missed cuts out of seven and only one top 25... and he's earned $213,580?! Remarkable.

"I have a pony on Vijay Singh to finish in the top 10, at odds of 6-1. He started the day one stroke off the group tied for 10th. Reckon my money's as good as banked, or can I forget it?"
Tim from Maidenheadvia text on 81111

1733: If my sources are correct, Mickelson and Woods should be teeing off in approximately two minutes. A significant battle within a broader war? Probably. Casey picks up another stroke at 7, and he's now one under. Sandy Lyle pars the 1st to stay one under, while Australia's Aaron Baddeley birdies 2 to move to two under.

"The winner is Angel 'The Duck' Cabrera for me - good Augusta performer (three top 10s) with one major (US Open 2007) already in the bag. As a European tour veteran, can we claim him as one of ours?"
JackDouglas on 606
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1728: Worth keeping one eye on Anthony Kim today, he'll no doubt be swashbuckling his way round the course, wielding his irons like a broadsword. Wouldn't put any money on him though, I fancy there'll be plenty of bogeys mixed in with his birdies. McIlroy drops a shot at the par-four 3rd to drop back to one over. Padraig Harrington is out and about - birdie at the 1st, and it's time to face his nemesis...

1725: If you press your red button at 1800 British Summer Time, pictures of Amen Corner will magically appear on your TV, and indeed mine. Bubba Watson can rip it like no-one else on earth, but you need more than that round Augusta - dropped shot at 7 and he's sucked back to level.

1721: Ben Curtis, pressure off and shoulders free, picks up another birdie at 7 to move to two under. Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell has bogeyed the 1st to move to level par. Miguel Angel Jimenez will already be dreaming of stogies and Ferraris, another bogey at 8...

1716: Immelman, who hasn't really hit the heights since his victory at Augusta last year, makes birdie at 3 to get to even. Thanks to those on 606 for posting this year's prize money. The overall pot, I believe, is $7,500,000, which is the GDP of Kiribati.

1710: Sergio Garcia has made par at the 1st to stay one under. Will there be any kind of charge from the Spaniard today? I somehow doubt it, his game doesn't look in full working order. Plenty of birdies out there early on: former Open champion Ben Curtis has picked up shots at 4 and 7 to move to level par, while England's Ross Fisher has birdied 2, 3 and 6 to join him in a tie for 34th. Sandy Lyle out soon.

"Lots of early birdies is encouraging. Hopefully the middle of the pack can pile some pressure on the top before they tee off."
IYDBAT on 606 Get involved in the Masters chat

1708: Still smarting from my ill-judged bets on Casey, Garcia and McIlroy, I've committed the cardinal sin and gone chasing my losses - big on Furyk, if he's in the mix, you might have to make do without any text in the closing stages.

1705: Luke Donald also made par at the 1st to stay level par, and the defending champion Trevor Immelman is out on course - he's opened up with two pars to stay one over.

"How about Villegas to make the most birdies today? Unfortunately he will also probably make more bogeys, which is a shame for my £7.50 each way! Sure my £7.50 each way on Westwood will triumph though?"
sivart683 Get involved in the Masters chat

1659: The winner of this year's Masters will not only get to slip on a slightly faded green blazer that looks like it's been hanging up in Kenny Lynch's loft for 30 years, he will also pocket $1,350,000. The man who finishes last out of the 50 to make the cut will walk away with $18,900. Bubba Watson drops a shot at the 5th to drop back to one under.

1654: I saw a grown man crying on my Tube train today, which raised an interesting social and philosophical point: why did no-one think to ask him how he was? I'm sure if it was a woman they would have done. I reckon he must have had money on Garcia. Rory McIlroy has parred the 1st, Japan's Ryuji Imada the 2nd.

"I hope Campbell or Perry don't win. For some reason i just don't like them. Is it because they are American? Hopefully Westwood and Poulter will play a good round. A 65 or 66 would give them a slight chance of victory if the leaders falter. If they don't pull it off It'd be nice to see Cabrera win. Top Player and seems a nice guy."
steeley111 on 606 Get involved in the Masters chat

1651: Anyone have any idea where I can find out what this lot will be winning this week? Just wanted to know how "peripheral" these early skirmishes are exactly. Bubba Watson, the longest driver on the PGA Tour with an average of 313 yards, picks up another shot at 4 to move to three under. Henrik Stenson of Sweden makes birdie at 1 and is one under.

1645: Robert Allenby of Australia has birdied the 2nd to get back to even, but these are just peripheral skirmishes to be honest, the guts of the battle won't start belching for a few hours yet. Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald have just teed off.

1642: Bubba Watson, in only his second Masters appearance, has birdied 1 and 2 to be one under, while England's Ross Fisher has picked up shots at 2 and 3 to get back to even. Paul Casey picking up a shot at 2 as well to join him in a tie for 33rd.

1638: Hello, and many thanks to Pranav for setting the scene, and what a scene it is at Augusta, walking out on course must be like walking into a painting. Probably. Because I can't actually see anything until coverage of Amen Corner kicks off. What I can tell you, though, is that we have Argentines at the top and bottom of the leaderboard: Andres Romero has triple-bogeyed the 4th to fall back to eight over. Ouch.

1633: "Remember Poulter's charge at The Open? I predict something similar today from him if he starts well, Westwood will spur him on..."
hammerstu64 on 606
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By Pranav Soneji

1632: Time to hand over to your esteemed commentator for Sunday's finale. Thanks for all your efforts, I'm off to eat my bodyweight in fair trade chocolate.

1630: "My heart and soul is going to be rooting for Tiger. The bloke is my hero. I think we could see some magic tonight!"
Mark, Manchester via text 81111

1628: Good news for all you Ross Fisher fans, the 28-year-old Englishman has nailed a birdie four on the 575-yard second, along with Bubba Watson, the biggest climber of the day from one over to one under.

1623: "Re: 1600. Perry wouldn't just be the oldest ever Masters winner but the oldest winner of ANY major, beating Julius Boros' record of 48 years, 4 months and 18 days when he won the PGA in 1968."
Ian, Eastbourne via text 81111

1620: Rocco Mediate drops a shot on the par-four third and joins Miguel Angel Jimenez at the basement of the leaderboard, while world number six Paul Casey starts his fourth-round campaign with a birdie on the first.

1616: "I wrote in yesterday about my support for Paul Casey, and I was wondering to myself, am I the only one who was disappointed with his performance? Wasn't he the European favourite? He bottled it last year as well at Augusta, didn't he! If anyone has to win, I hope its Cabrera - Campbell and Perry don't look like golf players at all! They all look like they're wearing rubber rings round their hips, but at least Cabrera has a great swing! Also, come on Tiger!"
Seb, Eldersfield via text 81111

Is there any flesh left on your thumb after tapping that out Seb?

1614: "My head says Cabrera, but I owe a vote of confidence to Steve Stricker ,who over the years has made me a few quid when I had a punt on the PGA tour and lets face it, he will look like a movie star in the Green Jacket!"
4thxjuly on 606
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1609: We have our first birdie of the day, courtesy of Bubba Watson, who cards a three on the first. Our Bubba was born in Bagdad, lovely part of the world. Eastern Florida that is, not central Iraq. Watson climbs one place to level par overall.

1603: "I am hoping for another great round from the man no-one is mentioning - Sean O'Hair. I have £25 each way @80/1 from February! Can't wait for another special evening from the greatest course in the world..."
Neal 07 via text 81111

1600: Should Kenny Perry triumph come the late hours of Sunday, the Kentuckian would become the oldest Masters winner ever at 48 years and seven months. Out on the course, Andres Romero and Ben Curtis par the opening hole.

1553: Cigar-chomping Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez slides to six over with a dropped shot on the first while playing partner Rocco Mediate has no such problems. Some interesting debate on the 606 thread about a potential winner. Hobbsey100 reckons Anthony Kim will shoot another 65 and win by a stroke at 12 under, while BlueWestonian is backing Cabrera.

1547: "What odds do you think I would get for Tiger hitting into the trees four times in a row on the 11th?"
Jon via text 81111

1543: "Tiger and Mickelson playing together is dangerous especially if one plays well, the other will want to beat the other. That pairing could be brilliant."
Pickles91on 606
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1540: Kevin Sutherland has a nightmare start to his fourth round, bogeying the first hole while southpaw playing partner Mike Weir pars the 445-yard hole.

1537: We have no television pictures right now from Augusta, but you can get on the Amen Corner case from 1800 BST onwards, when we will have live coverage from the 11th, 12th and 13th holes on the website (UK users only, international pain).

1532: Out on the course right now we have former champion Mike Weir and American Kevin Sutherland, who started their rounds at 1525 BST. Over in the world of football, we have a humdinger of a game at Villa Park between Aston Villa and Everton. You can follow the action with the marvellous Caroline Cheese:

1530: Angel Cabrera has more than his fair share of hinchadas across the globe. The rotund Argentine is a throwback to sports professionals from yesterday. Hailing from the land of beef, Cabrera loves his steaks and ciggies - so much so that when he won the US Open in 2007, he said: "Some players deal with nerves by hiring sports psychologists. I just smoke". If you want to get involved with the chat, speculation or boast about the 34th chocolate Easter egg you've managed to shove down your throat, text 81111 with the word " GOLF " before your message, or use the 606 website (link above) to get involved.

1528: "Got a feeling there could be a little surprise. I think the leaders may bottle under the pressure after never being in a position like this before - apart from Cabrera, who may be a tad to relaxed to don the Green Jacket!"
Fielder on 606
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1526: The highest-placed former champions are eight shots adrift - and what a pair too. Expect a stadium rock-style following for four-time champion and world number one Tiger Woods and his left-handed compatriot Phil Mickelson, who will head out of the clubhouse at 1835 BST. Leaders Angel Cabrera and Kenny Perry (whose name I cannot say without thinking of Brian Potter from Channel Four's brilliant Phoenix Nights) are out at 1935 BST.

1520: What sort of surprise have those awfully nice people on the Augusta committee organised for our 50 intrepid golfers on this most Eastery of Sundays? The great Green Jacket hunt is made the more intriguing when you consider that no player has come back from more than eight shots adrift in the final round to win the Masters. Or is it time to re-write the tomes of golfing history?



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11 Apr 09 |  Golf
Augusta tee-off times
12 Apr 09 |  Golf
Masters photos
10 Apr 09 |  Golf


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