Now that the third round of the 2013 Masters tournament from Augusta National Golf Club is completed and the final day of action is ready to tee off, the excitement over which of the players still in contention will walk away with the green jacket has the golf world at a fever pitch.
American Brandt Snedeker and Argentinean Angel Cabrera share the lead heading into Day 4 at seven-under for the week, but with the likes of Tiger Woods, Jason Day, Matt Kuchar and Tim Clark all within four strokes, there is no doubt Sunday will have wild finish.
There are still more top names that have an outside chance of making a run at the tournament victory (stars like Rickie Fowler, Lee Westwood and Jim Furyk all at two-under), but the eventual winner of the Masters typically has positioned himself toward the top of the leaderboard by Day 4.
As well as the names already mentioned have played thus far, there is a contingent of well-known golfers that have failed miserably at the 2013 Masters. Luke Donald (two-over), Rory McIlroy (five-over) and Phil Mickelson (eight-over) have performed flat-out awful at Augusta.
As we move into the final day of the tournament, the pressure of the television crews, the ever-increasing fanbase on the course and the excitement around the last round of the Masters will have the players on edge.
Sunday is setting up to be a wild day for golf at Augusta.
While Jason Day and the rest of the Australian stars (Adam Scott, Marc Leishman) are trying to buck the trend that no Aussie has ever won the Masters, a poor performance from Day on Saturday hurt the chances of that dream coming to fruition.
There is still a chance that Day and the others can regain their elite form and win it all (Day is just three shots off the lead), but bogeys to end the third round for Day have haunted him overnight.
The Aussie will have to forget how he performed Saturday and show how great he really is Sunday if he wants to steal a victory.
As well as the Australians have played, Day 3 belonged to two men—Angel Cabrera and Brandt Snedeker. After dominating round three, the duo walks into the final day of action with a co-lead in the event at seven-under.
Snedeker has played great, and with his ability to putt as well as anyone on tour, there is little doubt that the American will be there at the very end. As talented as Snedeker is, Cabrera is a former Masters champion and will use that experience to calm his nerves.
While there were some great rounds Saturday, the eventual winner has already postured himself towards the top of the leaderboard. Day 3 is known as moving day, and those at the top now will remain there throughout the rest of this tournament.
While Jason Day came into Day 3 as the tournament leader, the inability to hit his short puts down the stretch doomed his chances of walking into the final round with a lead:
Tournament co-leader Angel Cabrera had a few tough shots Saturday, but none was tougher than his shot from the pine needles on 13:
While Tiger Woods hasn’t been at his best this week, he is still able to pull out some of the most amazing shots, including this gem at 15:
Of all the shots on Day 3, it was Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano’s long birdie that stole the show:
*Images and GIFs courtesy of B/R social-media writer Ken Dorset.
Golfers to Watch on the Final Day
One of the men fighting for the green jacket Sunday is Argentinean star Angel Cabrera, who through three days has managed to find himself tied for first place with seven-under for the tournament.
The former Masters winner (2009) has been playing amazing at the Augusta, scoring 71, 69 and 69 in each of the first three days, respectively. Add in the 15 birdies and 31 pars to just eight bogeys, and Cabrera is striking the ball well.
While most golfers find success in one aspect of their game and capitalize on it, Cabrera has bettered the field in terms of greens hit (72.22 percent) and driving distance (293.67 yards).
If Cabrera keeps striking the ball the way he did on Day 3, there is little doubt he will in contention for another green jacket Sunday evening.
What is there to say about Tiger Woods on Day 4 of the Masters tournament that his four green jackets doesn’t already scream to avid and casual golf fans?
Woods is a winner.
The veteran star has found himself at three-under for the tournament and tied for seventh, but Woods is four shots out of the lead and certainly within striking distance on the final day if the leaders falter.
While Woods has been solid at hitting the green this week (62.96 percent), it has been his elite putting (1.57 putts per hole) that will keep him in contention Sunday.
Of all the golfers to watch Sunday, Brandt Snedeker is the man that has the hottest hand coming into the tournament (runner-up finishes at the two previous events and won the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am) and has translated that into the Masters lead.
After finishing third in 2008 and not returning to that level of success at Augusta since, the 2013 tournament should be Snedeker’s chance to show the world just how gifted he truly has become.
Snedeker told ESPN about his goals for Sunday and the entire tournament:
I'm not here to get a good finish. I'm not here to finish top 5. I'm here to win, and that's all I'm going to be focused on tomorrow. I realize what I have to do to do that, and I'm going to do everything I can to make sure that happens.
That is the kind of attitude that golf fans want from an American star like Snedeker, and if he can translate that work ethic and confidence into success on the course, there is little doubt that the tournament co-leader (seven-under par) can bring home a victory and a green jacket.