No Green Jacket for Woods at This Masters

AUGUSTA, Georgia  -- A supercharged duel between the world's two best players ended with a thud Sunday at the Masters, leaving someone else to claim the green jacket.

That someone was Angel Cabrera, grabbing the second major championship of his career, winning the Masters on the second hole of a three-way playoff.

Cabrera, the 2007 U.S. Open winner, pulled off a remarkable par at No. 18 after hitting his tee shot behind a tree. Kenny Perry also made par after his chip rolled up just short of the hole, while Chad Campbell was eliminated in the first hole of the playoff when he missed a 4-footer to save par from the bunker.

The remaining pair moved on to No. 10, where Perry hit an awful approach far left of the green. His chip skidded past the cup and he never got a chance to finish up. Cabrera two-putted for par to win the green jacket.

Superstars Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson fell apart down the stretch as 48-year-old Kenny Perry tried to become the oldest major champion in golf history.

Mickelson dunked his ball into Rae's Creek and missed two short putts, settling for a 5-under 67 that could have been so much better. Woods bogeyed the last two holes, finishing with a 68 that wasn't good enough.

Mickelson finished at 9-under 279, his only consolation that he beat Woods by a stroke.

"It was fun," Mickelson said. "We've had some good matches in the past. I've usually been on the wrong end of it. It's fun playing with him. I've always enjoyed it."

But no matter who won, this final round will long be remembered for the showdown between Woods and Mickelson, playing together in the final round of a major for only the third time.

Mickelson had the place in an uproar when he shot a 6-under 30 on the front side, tying a Masters record. It was like the Augusta of old, when the roars reverberated through the Georgia pines as everyone from Gary Player to Jack Nicklaus pulled off dramatic comebacks.

"It was a fun front nine," Mickelson said. "I thought there were some pins I could get to."

In the end, he'll remember this one for the blunders, most notably the one in Amen Corner at the devilish little 12th hole known as "Golden Bell."

Mickelson punched at a 9-iron, but the ball spun back into Rae's Creek and he wound up taking double bogey. He still had a chance to be only the third player to win after hitting one in the water on Sunday — until he missed a 4-footer for eagle at No. 15 and a 5-foot birdie try at 17. An errant drive at 18 leading to a bogey was academic.

Woods was bemoaning his own miscues. After climbing with a shot of the lead heading to 17, he unleashed two errant drives. The first led to a bogey, essentially ruining any hopes of winning.

"I was pretty much dead from there," Woods said.

He teed off into the trees at 18, and wound up deeper in the woods when his next shot caught a trunk and shot straight right. He still had a chance to save par — and tie Mickelson — but his putt slid by the cup.

The atmosphere on a warm, sunny day was electric, the roars returning to Augusta after some lackluster finishes in recent years.

The course was there for the taking, with accessible pins and greens that were still a bit soft after storms swept through Augusta after the second round. The scores reflected it, with plenty of numbers in the red, led by John Merrick with a 66.

Mickelson, playing with Woods in front of a gallery that was 10-deep in places, provided many of the thrills with his dazzling play on the front side.

He pulled off a brilliant hook around the trees for a tap-in birdie at No. 7, his best shot of many, and his par at the ninth was nearly as good. Mickelson drove deep into the pines right of the fairway, and his escape wound up in the deep bunker fronting the left side of the green. He blasted out to about 5 feet above the flag and sank the slippery putt for a brilliant 4.

His front-nine 30 tied the mark set by Johnny Miller in 1975 and equaled by Greg Norman in 1988 and K.J. Choi in 2004.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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