Sunday, April 12, 2009


PHIL WAS FABULOUS on the front nine. Tiger clawed his way back into contention. Chad dropped out on the first extra hole and someone up above was smiling on Ángel when his second shot on the 18th hole cannoned back off a pine tree and into the fairway.

But, on a thrilling final day at Augusta National, it was Kenny Perry’s Masters to win or lose.

Aged 48 years and eight months, Perry should have become the oldest man in history to don the famous Green Jacket. Sadly, he will be remembered as yet another golfer to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

All he had to do was play the last two holes in one over par. However, back-to-back bogeys forced him into a three-man play-off, and he eventually had to settle for second place when he bogeyed the second extra hole.

Such is the unique pressure that comes with trying to win your first Major. In the end, it proved too much for the likeable veteran from Franklin, Kentucky, who was brutally honest in the assessment of his own performance.

“It just seems like when it gets down to those deals, I can’t seem to execute,” said Perry, who lost to Mark Brooks in a playoff to decide the 1996 PGA Championship at Valhalla. “Great players make it happen and your average players don’t. And that’s the way it is.”

Agony and ecstacy as Cabrera wins Masters

Ángel Cabrera had the distinct advantage of having been there before. He won the U.S. Open at Oakmont in 2007. Now he’s the first Argentine to win the Masters.

Cabrera, who used to smoke his way around the golf course, now tries to calm his nerves by chewing gum instead. He looked to have blown his chance when his drive at the 18th ended up among the pine needles.

But an excellent third shot left him a knee-trembling six-footer to save par and with Perry missing his putt, he was handed a second chance.

It wasn’t just Perry who left Georgia wondering what might have been. Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods both threatened to overcome a seven-shot deficit going into the final round, only to shoot themselves in the foot.

Woods, like Perry, bogeyed the last two holes. Mickelson, who covered the front nine in 30 to reach 10 under
just one shot off the lead – hit his tee shot into Rae's Creek at the 155-yard par three 12th and ended up taking double bogey five.

There will undoubtedly be other days for both Woods and Mickelson. But will Kenny Perry ever get another shot at greatness?

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