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2011 Masters Leaderboard: Cabrera Emerges While Woods Fades

Rory McIlroy continues to play impressive and composed golf. Over 54 holes, he has three bogies, which is one less than his playing partner Jason Day had just today. Small wonder the lad from Northern Ireland sits comfortably atop the leader board at -12, four strokes ahead of his nearest competitor.

And who will Rory be playing with on Sunday? None other than the chain smoking gum chewing 2009 Masters champion Angel Cabrera. After shooting a day-best five under, Cabrera is at eight under and should at least give McIlroy something to think about tomorrow. Cabrera has two tour wins in the last five years – the aforementioned Masters, and the 2007 US Open. What he’s doing most of the year is anyone’s guess, but he certainly picks the right time to shine.

But while one former champion emerged, another struggled and ultimately faded. The troubles and inconsistencies that have plagued his game recently were on full display. Brilliant shots repeatedly saved him after erratic drives and he made more than a few laborious pars. At five under he’s by no means out of it, but it will take a vintage Tiger round to pull it off, something we haven’t seen in quite some time.

This is Rory’s to lose. Over the last three days, he’s demonstrated a maturity and composure that belies his age. Still, you don’t get the green jacket for playing 54 holes of good golf. Sunday at Augusta can be a treacherous experience – just ask Greg Norman.

Will a European emerge victories for the first time since Olazabal’s win in 1999? All will be revealed on Sunday.

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.