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Brandt Snedeker & Angel Cabrera lead at the Masters

Updated: Sunday, 14 Apr 2013 09:45 | Comments

Brandt Snedeker played a flawless three-under 69 to post seven under for the tournament
Brandt Snedeker played a flawless three-under 69 to post seven under for the tournament

Nine months after blowing a four-shot lead with four holes to play in the Open, Adam Scott has the chance to gain redemption by claiming a first major title in the Masters.

Scott carded a third round of 69 at Augusta National to finish six under par, one shot behind 2009 champion Angel Cabrera and American Brandt Snedeker.

And with compatriots Jason Day and Marc Leishman a shot behind in fourth, there is an excellent chance for Australia to break their Masters duck, 17 years after Greg Norman squandered a six-shot lead in the final round.

"It's huge, to win the Masters would be incredible," said Scott, who was joint second here with Day in 2011. "It would be great for Australia and we have never looked better odds-wise other than that one Sunday in 1996.

"I don't think I need to do much different. If I am in the same position tomorrow as I was at the Open then I am obviously playing an incredible round and I will be just trying to finish the job.

"It's going to take a great round. There are too many great players right there. I'm going to need a career round and that's what these big events do for someone. It's a career round that makes them a champion."

Snedeker, who shared the lead in the final round in 2008 but faded to a 77 to finish third, carded a bogey-free 69 on Saturday, starting with 12 pars before picking up birdies on the 13th, 15th and 16th.

The 32-year-old, whose 2013 PGA Tour record read third, 23rd, second, second, first before suffering a rib injury, admitted: "I'm like a duck pond; calm on top but heart beating a mile a minute underneath.

"I have done a good job of calming those nerves the first three days so hopefully I can do it again tomorrow."

Cabrera has not won on any of golf's major tours since his victory at Augusta in 2009, dropping to 269th in the world, but birdies at the sixth, eighth and 10th took him into the outright lead.

The 43-year-old, who beat Kenny Perry and Chad Campbell in a play-off four years ago, bogeyed the 12th after having to play out sideways from a greenside bunker and also three-putted the next, but bounced back with birdies at the 16th and 18th.

Day looked set to share the lead when he birdied the 13th after 12 straight pars, but the 25-year-old bogeyed the last two holes to fall two shots off the pace.

Tiger Woods is only four behind as he chases a fifth Green Jacket and 15th major title, the 37-year-old shrugging off the controversy over his delayed two-shot penalty from the second round.

Woods was penalised for taking an incorrect drop on the 15th hole on Friday, although the penalty was only given on Saturday morning, more than 12 hours after he had signed his card having initially been cleared of any wrongdoing.

That left him five shots behind Day starting his round - he was six behind at halfway before his last Masters win in 2005 - but he began with a birdie at the first to quickly cut the deficit.

But the 37-year-old then bogeyed the fourth and after a birdie at the seventh, saw another birdie putt from three feet on the eighth horseshoe around the hole and stay out.

To rub salt into the wound, another dropped shot at the next took Woods to the turn in 36 and the prospects of claiming a 15th major title looked to be fading fast with a bogey at the 11th.

However, Woods hit back with birdies at the 12th and 13th - he got up and down from a greenside bunker there - and picked up another shot at the 15th after two-putting from 20ft.

Saving par on the 16th after finding more sand had Woods stalking the ball into the hole in trademark fashion, while another trip to a greenside bunker on the 17th brought the same result.

The 18th brought trouble off the tee with a pulled drive and approach which came up short of the green, but Woods pitched to 10ft and holed for par to record a 70.

The penalty for Woods came the day after Chinese schoolboy Guan Tianlang was penalised one shot for slow play, meaning he only made the halfway cut on the mark at four over.

The 14-year-old, the youngest competitor in Masters history, carded a third round of 77 to finish nine over par, just one shot worse than three-time winner Phil Mickelson who had back-to-back double bogeys on the 11th and 12th in his 77.

The English challenge which saw Lee Westwood, Justin Rose and David Lynn inside the top 10 overnight faded badly, with Westwood's 73 leaving him five off the lead, Rose two shots further back after a 75 and Lynn slumping to an 80.

And Rory McIlroy also crashed to a 79 containing two sevens on the back nine to finish five over after starting the day just four off the lead.

Defending champion Bubba Watson, out first with a club member acting as his marker, was four under par for the first 10 holes of his round but eventually signed for a 70 to finish two over.

Cabrera has twice played in the final group at the Masters; in 2009 when he won and two years later when he shot 71 and finished seventh as Rory McIlroy crashed to a closing 80.

"That helps you to be more calm and have that experience," Cabrera said. "It all adds up and helps. In 2009, I was nervous, anxious. But now I'm very comfortable. I know what I've got to do tomorrow to be able to get the win.

"I think it's important that you know where to miss (on this course). And when you've played so many times or many years this tournament, it really helps just the fact that you know where you can miss a shot."

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