The Masters: Perry, Cabrera tied for lead
By Doug Ferguson
AUGUSTA, Ga. ó Angel Cabrera and Kenny Perry have proven they can handle the pressure on golf’s biggest stage. Next up is Sunday at Augusta National, a test unlike any other they have faced.
Cabrera, who won the U.S. Open two years ago at Oakmont, made three birdies on the back nine and scratched out an important par on the final hole Saturday at the Masters for a 3-under 69.
Perry, who thrived under the spotlight of a Ryder Cup in his native Kentucky last September, overcame two mistakes with his putter around Amen Corner and finished with five straight pars for a 70 to join the Argentine in the lead.
It will be the first time they’ve played in the final group at a major.
And not just any major.
They were at 11-under 205, the lowest 54-hole score at the Masters since the course was supersized seven years ago. The back nine at Augusta National is among the most intense in golf, and officials are expected to set up the course to allow for birdies and eagles.
“I’m lucky enough to be in a very good position,” Cabrera said. “I haven’t been in this position before.”
Perry lost in a playoff at the PGA Championship at Valhalla in 1996, when he was criticized for being in the broadcast booth instead of keeping loose on the practice range. He never would have imagined that all these years later, he would have a chance to become golf’s oldest major champion at 48.
“The first two days felt like I was on vacation,” Perry said. “Today felt like a job.”
They had a two-shot lead over Chad Campbell, who led briefly on the back nine until a blunder on the 16th hole when he took two shots to get out of the bunker, made double bogey and wound up with a 72.
Jim Furyk, another former U.S. Open champion, shot 68 and was three shots behind at 8-under 208.
Phil Mickelson’s rally was slowed by three poor chips, and he escaped with a 71 only after hitting a big slice from the trees on the 18th hole that started down the 10th fairway and wound up on the green.
They were at 4-under 212.
“A lot of things happen on Sunday at Augusta, and I would never put it past happening again,” Mickelson said. “I think that at this golf course, funny things can happen, and if you get momentum on your side and you’re making some birdies, you can make a lot of them.”
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