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Friday, 19 March 2010
The Masters - Final Round  (Getty Images)
The Masters - Final Round (Getty Images)

Angel Cabrera remained in the hunt for a first Green Jacket as Augusta National witnessed a thrilling finish to the Masters Tournament.

Cabrera, bidding to become the first Argentinian to win the title, endured a frustrating opening to his final round, following a birdie at the third hole with dropped shots at four, five and ten.

However, at nine under par, he remained just three shots off the lead with six holes of his second round still to play.

That lead was held by playing partner Kenny Perry, looking to become the oldest winner of the event at the age of 48.

He solidly parred his first 11 holes before holing a stunning long birdie putt at the 12th to move to 12 under.

Also in contention were Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, the two leading players in the world rankings producing some sensational golf to both move from four under to ten under with two holes of their final round remaining.

Mickelson reached the turn in an astonishing 30 strokes before finding Rae’s Creek with his tee shot at 12 and picking up a double bogey as a result.

However, the two-time Masters Tournament champion responded with birdies at 13 and 15 to put himself right back in the mix.

Woods, meanwhile, got off to a more sedate start before kick-starting his round with a superb eagle at the eighth.

He then picked up further shots at 13, 15 and 16 to move alongside Mickelson in second place.

Chad Campbell was also two behind Perry at ten under following three birdies and two bogeys in his opening 12 holes.

Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood had started the day with faint hopes of a win on four under, but they were one over and two over respectively for their final rounds with three holes to play.

Ross Fisher was the first man to break 70 on the final day, the Englishman carding six birdies in a 69 which took him to a creditable one under aggregate on his Masters Tournament debut.

"My theory this week was to try and get the ball in the right spots and hole a few putts,” he said. “I think I did that pretty well.”

Fellow countryman Paul Casey followed Fisher into the clubhouse with a 69 of his own, his first sub-par round of the tournament, to end on two under par.

Casey was also willing to take positives from the week, saying: “I have learnt a lot and it is a golf course you learn something from every time you come here.”

Defending champion Trevor Immelman finished on the same score as Fisher and Casey after also completing his tournament with a 69.

And Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy was another player on two under after ending his first week at Augusta in sensational fashion.

The teenager looked set to finish way down the field following an outward nine of 39, but he responded with five birdies on the way home to post a fine 70.

“It was a lovely way to end the week,” McIlroy said. “Overall I haven’t played as well as I would have wanted but it is a pretty respectable finish. It has been a great week.”

Australia's Aaron Baddeley went one better than McIlroy with a 69 which left him on four under overall, the same score as playing partner Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland.

Current Race to Dubai leader Geoff Ogilvy also carded a 69 to finish on five under for the tournament.

Meanwhile, Justin Rose bounced back from double bogeys on nine and 11 with two wonderful eagles on 13 and 15, leaving him one under for his final round and two under overall.

“This has been the most stunning day I have ever experienced at Augusta,” said the Englishman.

1988 Masters Tournament champion Sandy Lyle carded a 71 for a two over aggregate, while Padraig Harrington shot a third successive 73 to finish on level par.

“I probably learned something from the week and will be a better player afterwards and that’s a good thing,” said Harrington.

“Now I will move forward and get ready for the next one.”

Henrik Stenson and Luke Donald also carded 73s to finish one shot behind Harrington, while Sergio Garcia was another player on one over after he rounded off his week with a 74.

Garcia’s fellow Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez carded a 73 to finish on six over for the tournament and Argentina’s Andres Romero posted a second successive 77 to end on ten over.

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