Masters Live Coverage: Round 4 Blog with Mike Walker

Sunday April 11th, 2010

SI Photos: Round 4 | Round 3 | Round 2 | Round 1 | Leaderboard For more, read Cameron Morfit's story: Mickelson, transformed at Augusta again, wins third Masters 7:12 p.m. Great day, great tournament, great champion. Special thanks to Eddie Merrins, Brady Riggs and Mike Corcoran for joining me for the blog, and to all of you for reading and commenting. Can't wait for the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. See you then! 7:02 p.m. Augusta National chairman Billy Payne and Jim Nantz greet Mickelson, defending champ Angel Cabrera and low amateur Matteo Manassero in the Butler Cabin. Yikes, my first junior-high dance was less awkward that this. "It fits, it feels great," Mickelson says as Cabrera helps him put on the green jacket. 7 p.m. I didn't get the exact Jim Nantz call on Mickelson's putt. I think it was something like "A win for family." Drop me a line, if I don't have it right. 6:57 p.m. Reader Vijay Rajkumar writes: Its been fanastic golf...your live bloggin will be a lot better if you just focus on the golf.

Got it, Vijay. It's been a great day for the game.

6:55 p.m.  Players with three green jackets: Jimmy Demaret, Nick Flado, Gary Player and now Phil Mickelson. Only players with more: Palmer and Woods (4) and Nicklaus (6).
Butler Cabin report coming soon. 6:51 p.m. Yes. He. Did. Mickelson closes his round with a birdie on 18. Finishes 16-under. Very emotional sence. Phil gives his wife Amy a lengthy, lengthy hug. Surrounded by his two daughters and his son.  6:50 p.m. Westwood just misses a long birdie putt. He'll finish second at 13-under after another excellent performance in a big tournament. It's just a matter of time for Westwood. 6:46 p.m. Mickelson sticks his approach to 18. This is all over. Amy Mickelson and Phil Sr. make their way to the 18th green. His fourth major, his third Masters. We're watching a player for the ages. 6:45 p.m. Mickelson's safe play works. He's in the right rough. Tiger Woods tells Peter Kostis he's taking some time off to "evaluate things." 6:42 p.m. Great drive by Westwoon on 18. Phil has 3-wood. 6:40 p.m. Mickelson makes the putt! Two shot lead, one to play. 3-wood on 18? 6:39 p.m. Westwood is now 13-under after a BIG birdie on 17. Now Mickelson has a par save or a two-shot swing. 6:38 p.m. Westwood has a must-make birdie putt on 17. About 5 feet. 6:36 p.m. Woods finishes with a birdie, of course he does, at 11-under. Friend of the Blog Mike Corcoran has a different take on Woods: To play this well after
what has happened and with his wife staying away, that's not a
testament to how great he is--it's a clue that he really doesn't give a ----, that all he wants to do is be Tiger Woods again, the same Tiger
Woods. I can't believe people are buying it hook and sinker, even with
the creepy ad, etc. It's really, really nauseating.
6:32 p.m. Woods and KJ Choi get a warm round of applause walking up to the 18th green. Good week for Woods. He put a lot of stuff behind him and the fans really responded to him. BTW, we're never going to know what happened Thanksgiving night. If the Florida State Police couldn't get Woods to talk, a bunch of golf writers don't have a chance. 6:30 p.m. Decent drives for Mickelson and Westwood on 17. While we're waiting for the leaders, here's a report on the secret Augusta National medical center from Golf.com's David Dusek. Every week at PGA Tour events, people get hit by golf balls, overcome by hot weather or develop one form of ailment or another. But if you are going need medical care, get sick at the Masters.With all the pollen floating in the air this week, my right eye feels like someone placed a piece of 40-grit sandpaper against my cornea. Thankfully, next to the front gate, there is a nondescript green cottage with a small red cross on the front door. Inside is a medical facility that features enough equipment and supplies to double as the set of ER. I was helped by a registered nurse and TWO doctors. They ran a few tests, figured out the problem and wrote me a prescription that I was able to get filled at a 24 hour CVS that’s on 300 yards from the gate of the club. A third doctor, wearing a member’s green jacket, also took a look at my bloodshot eye.Total time waiting, about 10 seconds. Total examination time, 10 minutes. Insurance forms to fill out ... Zippo. I even made it back to see Tiger Woods tee off on No. 1. Try getting that kind of service on a Sunday in Brooklyn.I would have asked a few questions or noted more details of the place, but, well ... I was practically blind! 6:25 p.m. Mickelson lags it to about 2 feet on 16 and makes par. Westwood makes par. Three-shot lead with two to play. Should we start the Phil vs. Tiger at Pebble Beach hype yet? Nah, better wait. 6:22 p.m. Mickelson (15-under) and Westwood (12-under) find the green on 16, my favorite hole at Augusta. Westwood below the hole; Mickelson above. 6:19 p.m. Reader Albert Kaspor writes: Tiger's imbalance,
especially on the tee could very well be because of his sunglasses.
He's putting them on when walking; taking them off for each shot. Being
a bright day, the change in intensity of light disrupts his visual
acuity without giving his vision a few moments to adjust. Thus, he's
having difficulty focusing as his neuroligical vision center in his
brain is adjusting. Could very well be affecting his balance as well -
a mild vertigo symptom, caused by visual changes.
Hmmm. Tiger's sunglasses, Freddie's shoes. Never thought accessories could affect a tournament so much. 6:16 p.m. Birdie for Mickelson at 15. Now 15-under. Westwood misses his putt. Now Mickelson is up three with three to play. 46-long? 6:13 p.m. Couples makes his birdie putt at 17 and he's now 9-under. Westwood leaves his chip a little short and he'll have about 5-feet for birdie. Woods (10-under) made par on 16. 6:11 p.m. Westwood overshoots the green on 15, but he will have a decent chip from back there. Choi (11-under) makes par at 16. Mickelson talks with caddie Bones Mackay about his shot at the green and then sticks it for chance at eagle and 16-under. 6:10 p.m. Good drives for Westwood and Mickelson on the par 5 15th. 6:08 p.m. Fred Couples (8-under) has great chance at birdie on 17; Tiger Woods (10-under) on the back of the green at 16. Alex, who are two guys who won't win the 2010 Masters? 6:04 p.m. Anthony Kim drains an 8-footer to save par on 18. He's your leader in the clubhouse at 12-under after a 65 (!) today. 6:03 p.m. Choi makes birdie on 15 and gets to 11-under. Woods makes eagle, of course he does, and is now 10-under. 6:01 p.m. Westwood makes a pressure par save on 14. Still 12-under. Mickelson has a short one and makes it. 14-under. Two-shot lead. 6 p.m. Golf.com producer Ryan Reiterman writes: That's called karma, Tiger. 5:58 p.m. Woods will have a chance at eagle on 15. With the sunglasses on, he even looks like the Terminator. He just keeps coming, but that mistake on 14 will haunt him. 5:56 p.m. After gutsy par save on 17, Kim (12-under) is in the greenside bunker on 18. Kim is tied with Westwood, two behind Mickelson. Choi is 10-under after bogeys on 13 and 14. 5:55 p.m. I don't know if you'll see this many guys hitting from the straw when the media plays the course tomorrow. Jeez. 5:53 p.m. Woods has a complete meltdown on 14, three-putting from 8 feet and falling to 8-under. You can call Woods' next four holes "Dead Man Walking." 5:49 p.m. Mickelson flubs his putt on 13. Gets birdie and 14-under but still... 5:47 p.m. Westwood makes his birdie putt on 13, now 12-under. If you look up "unflappable" in the dictionary, you'll find a picture of Lee Westwood. You probably didn't do so great on your SATs either. 5:44 p.m. Westwood makes nice approach to 13 with his third shot, but Mickelson is tough act to follow. Meanwhile, Kim gers through the trees and almost reaches the 17th green and Woods has a good chance at birdie on 14.
So, yeah, not too much happening... 5:41 p.m. Phil Mickelson makes the shot of a lifetime. From behind a tree, Mickelson hits a long iron to three feet on 13. If you missed it, don't worry. You'll see highlights of it for the next 40 years or so. 5:40 p.m. After birdie-birdie-eagle-birdie, Kim found some trouble with his tee shot on No. 17. 5:37 p.m. Tiger Woods makes birdie on 13, now 9-under. Still alive. Choi makes timid stroke on 13, bogey drops him to -11. As Johnny Miller said last year at Bethpage, "Phil is driving the bus now." Buckle up. 5:35 p.m. Leaderboard update (Sunday Surprise Edition)
1 Phil Mickelson -13
T2 Anthony Kim -12
T2 K.J. Choi -12
4 Lee Westwood -11
T5 Fred Couples -9
T5 Tiger Woods -9 5:34 p.m. Mickelson and Westwood both hit their tee shots right on the par-5 13th and it looks like they'll be laying up. 5:33 p.m. Anthony Kim makes another birdie on 16 and he's just one back. Kim has absolutely no fear. This could be fun. 5:32 p.m. Woods almost holes out again on No. 13! Instead he'll have a short birdie putt. KJ Choi meanwhile in a world of trouble in the back bunker. 5:28 p.m. Phil Mickelson makes birdie on No. 12. Alone in the lead at 13-under. 5:26 p.m. Reader Hugh Wolfgang corrects me on the pollen at Augusta: It's tree pollen, not grass pollen!
 Of
course, it's also common for celebrities to wear sunglasses, so people
don't see their eyes. I'm sure Nantz is right, though, that it's just
the pollen.

Good point, Hugh. I learned this week that Augusta National hoses down all the bushes and skims the ponds every night to remove that layer of yellow film that covers everything in Augusta this time of year. Lot of work goes into making that course look so beautiful5:24 p.m. Great tee shot by Mickelson on the treacherous par-3 12th. Westwood finds the green too. Meanwhile, poor tee shot by Woods, which he follows with a string a PG cursing, "Goshdarnit, Tiger." This has to be tough for him. 5:23 p.m. "The beautiful thing about this golf course is that there's a tragedy awaiting you just about on every hole."--Tom Watson.   5:22 p.m. AK! Makes eagle on 15 means, he's 1 back at 11-under. 5:20 p.m. Woods makes a must-have par save on 12, still hanging on at 8-under as Mickelson and Westwood reach the 12th tee. 5:18 p.m. Anthony Kim (9-under) reaches the par-5 15th in two. Is the back door locked? 5:17 p.m. Woods out of the bunker but leaves himself at least eight feet for par. Another bogey will be fatal here. 5:14 p.m. Tiger Woods overshoots the green on No. 12 and he's in the back bunker. Westwood is on the 11 in two and Mickelson just short in two. 5:13 p.m. Choi on the tee at 12. Center of the green. Just wants his par here. 5:12 p.m. ...just missed. Now 8-under, one behind Anthony Kim and four behind the leaders Mickelson and Choi. 5:11 p.m. Five-footer for par on 11 for Tiger Woods and he.... 5:09 p.m. Awkward silence on 12 after Couples makes double on 12. Meanwhile, birdie on 14 gets Anthony Kim to 9-under. Choi makes 4 on 11, still 12-under. 5:07 p.m. Amazing recovery from Tiger. He gets through the trees and lands it less than 10 feet from the pin. Will be unbelievable par save if he can do it. 5:04 p.m. From the pine needles on No. 11, Woods hits a tree 15 feet in front of him (insert joke here). He's still in the pine needles, trying to get on in 3. 5:02 p.m. Freddie Couples (9-under) puts his tee shot into the water on 12. It hit the green and rolled back. The cruelest hole. 5:01 p.m. Anthony Kim makes birdie on 13 and gets to 8-under. 4:59 p.m. Mickelson the Magician makes a great up-and-down on 10. Stays tied in lead with Choi at 12-under as Westwood (-11) makes par. 4:57 p.m. Defending champion Angel Cabrera finishes his tournament at 1-under. Cabrera's Champions Dinner menu of Argentinian barbecue and wine will be a tough act to follow for these guys. 4:56 p.m.CBS' Jim Nantz says that Woods is wearing sunglasses a lot because of
the pollen here at Augusta. That's right, the world's best golfer is
allergic to grass. God has a twisted sense of humor. 4:55 p.m. Mickelson punches out from the trees and he's just off the front of the green. 4:51 p.m. Text from Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs: It's anyone's game now. Mickelson is bound to make a mistake at some point. Especially at No. 12. 4:50 p.m. Hello, World. KJ Choi ties the lead at 12-under with a birdie on No. 10. Meanwhile, Mickelson is deep in the trees with his drive on 10. 4:49 p.m. Woods (9-under) makes par on No. 10. Choi sizing up a birdie putt. 4:45 p.m. Mickelson is alone in the lead at 12-under after he makes par on nine and Westwood makes bogey. Yup, the Golf.com Masters Live Blog doesn't really begin until the back nine on Sunday. 4:43 p.m. Tiger Woods look frustrated enough after his tee shot on 10 that I thought I might hear some new swear words, but he landed harmlessly in the fairway. His approach hit the green and he'll have a longish putt for birdie. 4:42 p.m. Freddie Couples makes a par save on No. 10. Does he have his stroke back? Let's hope so. 4:37 p.m. Mickelson punches out from a lie that Nick Faldo calls "a poached egg in pine needles." Hmmmmm. Poached eggs. 4:35 p.m. Woods makes another birdie on No. 9. He's now 9-under, three back from the leaders. Choi is still 11-under after his par. 4:33 p.m. Bought at ticket on "Mr. Phil's Wild Ride"? Better take some Dramamine. After birdie on 8, Mickelson's gone into the trees with his drive on 9. 4:30 p.m. Coming off eagle-birdie, Woods has a nice approach on No. 9 and gives himself a decent look at birdie. Playing partner Choi does the same. 4:30 p.m. Mickelson birdie on No. 8 gets him back to a tie with Westwood at 12-under. 4:28 p.m. Golf Magazine's Alan Bastable has the latest on the TV ratings for the Masters this week. CBS Sports’ coverage of
the 2010 Masters on Saturday, April 10 scored its highest rating in
nine years earning an average overnight household rating/share of
7.6/18, up 33% from last year’s Saturday third-round coverage
(5.7/13).  This year’s Saturday third round coverage is also the third
highest-rated Saturday of any major championship since at least 1986 in
the metered markets (as far back as recorded CBS Nielsen data).  The
highest rated Saturday of a major championship was the 1997 Masters
third round with an 8.6/20 when Tiger Woods was on his quest for his
first Green Jacket.  The second highest-rated Saturday of a major
championship was also the Masters when in 2001, Tiger Woods was on his
way to his second Green Jacket earning a 7.9/19.  This year’s third
round rating peaked at 8.6/19 from 6:00-6:30 PM, EST.
  
And just wait for this afternoon's riveting battle between Westwood and Choi. 4:26 p.m. Not sure if that was an Augusta roar or an Augusta relieved sigh but Couples made a short putt for birdie on No. 9 and he gets to 10-under. One back of Choi and Mickelson at 11-under and two behind Westwood at 12-under 4:23 p.m. Reader GOP writes: If Woods had been -9 when he sunk that approach and not -5...I guarantee you there would have been fist pumping! But he hasn't given caddie Stevie Williams a high-five in five months. That could be trouble. 4:21 p.m. Woods makes his birdie putt on No. 8. Now 8-under and officially back in the mix. Remember what Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs said: Woods has to be within two when he gets to the 13th tee 4:20 p.m. Couples makes another brilliant approach on nine. Almost giving himself a tap-in. I'll be watching his putt through my fingers. 4:19 p.m. Woods runs his eagle attempt past the hole. Like they say to Kate Moss at KFC, there's some chicken left on that bone. 4:17 p.m. Woods rips a fairway woods to the right greenside rough on the par-5 eighth. He can putt it for a long eagle chance. Choi is on in regulation. 4:14 p.m. Sports lllustrated's Mark Godich has a theory about Woods on 7 and Mickelson on 14 yesterday. The cups are bigger at Augusta. How else to explain all of these hole-outs? Could be, but someone needs to tell Freddie. 4:11 p.m. Couples not even close on another make-able birdie putt on No. 8. Still 9-under, but it's starting to feel like 2006 all over again for Freddie. 4:10 p.m. Westwood just misses holing his long bunker shot. Will save par and the lead at 12-under. Incredible. Maybe Corcoran knows something. 4:08 p.m. First fearless prediction: Friend of the Blog Mike Corcoran says Westwood will win. Mickelson and Choi will finish T2. 4:07 p.m. Westwood hits a branch trying to escape and lands in the left-front bunker. Second tree he's hit today, that's one more than Tiger. 4:05 p.m. Mickelson in the fairway on the par-4 seventh. Westwood off to the left in the trees. Mickelson hits green but will have a long, breaking putt. Unforced error for Mickelson, says CBS' Peter Kostis. 4:03 p.m. Leaderboard Update (My Head Could Explode on Back Nine edition)
1 Westwood -12
2 Mickelson -11
3 Choi -10
4 Couples -9
T5 Anthony Kim -7
T5 Ricky Barnes -7
T5 Tiger Woods -7 3:58 p.m. No fist pumps or awkward high-fives anymore. The new buttoned-down Woods celebrates his hole-out by raising his arms field-goal style and smiling. 3:57 p.m. TIGER WOODS holes his approach on No. 7! Now, 7-under. Don't touch that dial. 3:56 p.m. The best thing about Freddie Couples' golf shoes is he can go skateboarding in the parking lot afterward without changing. 3:52 p.m. Couples barely misses a birdie putt on 7. The people's champion is 9-under, three back. Friend of Blog Mike Corcoran texts: Freddie on fire tee to green, but no wand. 3:50 p.m. Ryan Moore (1-under) makes an ace on 16, second of the day. Amateur Nathan Green (14-over) had one earlier. 3:49 p.m. Westwood back in the lead at 12-under with a birdie on No. 5. Woods thisclose to birdie on six (-5), and settles for par. Choi sinks his birdie putt and the Tank is now 10-under. 3:45 p.m. Woods and Choi find the green on the par-3 sixth and will have midrange putts for birdie. Woods looked disgusted at his shot. 3:44 p.m. Question: Why does the Masters have only 4 minutes of commercials per hour? Answer: To save 30 minutes for self-promotion. 3:41 p.m. Quick hits: Choi makes par putt on 5 (-9), Mickelson misses green right on 5, Westwood sticks his approach on 5 close.
Sports Illustrated senior editor Mark Godrch writes: Interesting that everybody is looking for reasons why Westwood won’t win.
It has been a recurring theme on the Golf Channel pre-game. Yet the guy
has been as rock solid as anybody for three days and seems relaxed. He
might not win, but he’ll be there with a chance at the end.
3:37 p.m. Woods makes another bogey on No. 5, now 5-under and behind a bunch of guys, including Ian Poulter (-7), Anthony Kim (-6), and Ricky Barnes (-6).  Friend of the Blog Mike Corcoran calls it a "National Geographic Day" at Augusta: Worms, hummingbirds at toothless Tigers. 3:36 p.m. Woods finds the fairway bunker on No. 5 and he's going to have to make a putt to save par. 3:33 p.m. Bogey at 4 for Westwood. He and Mickelson tied for lead at 11-under. 3:32 p.m. Par on 5 for Couples, still 9-under. 3:29 p.m. Ian Poulter is 7-under, passing Woods on the leaderboard. 3:25 p.m. Reader Mark Holdether wants to know: So what's the weather like in Augusta ?

Kind of perfect. Earlier this week it was beach weather, but now it's sunny and a little cooler. I'm starting to suspect Augusta National has secret weather technology that only the military knows about.3:24 p.m. Bogey for Woods on No. 4. Now 6-under and six behind. 3:22 p.m. Woods trying to grind out another par on the par-3 fourth after pushing his tee shot right. Choi makes his three there, still 9-under. 3:20 p.m. Tap-in par for Mickelson on No. 3. Even for the day. Friend of the Blog Mike Corcoran says short putts could give Mickelson trouble today. Mickelson's putting looks shaky,
though, in the vomit zone (4-6 feet). With him and Freddie, it's better
when they avoid the vomit zone and either have true tap-ins or about
10-footers, where they can let their strokes flow. Now I realize you
can't and don't want to try to not hit it too close, but with some
luck, the less they stay out of the vomit zone the better their
chances. That's what killed Freddie a few years back when he could have
won at Augusta--he hit his second shot in the vomit zone at 17 and, I
think, ended up three-putting? And I'm not just talking par-saving
putts, I'm talking birdies, even eagles. If I were betting I'd put
something on Choi to shoot a good score today, under par for sure. I
think he'll hang around, and I think he's mentally tough by nature,
beyond golf. Tiger doesn't look great in the vomit zone, but he's still
great at one thing, and that's knowing not to panic, which he showed
yesterday.
3:19 p.m. Mickelson and Westwood have similar midrange putts for birdie on No. 3. 3:15 p.m. Leaderboard Update (Something's Coming edition)
1 Lee Westwood -12
2 Phil Mickelson -11
T3 KJ Choi -9
T3 Fred Couples -9
T5 Tiger Woods -7
T5 Ian Poulter -7
Can Westwood hang on? Golf writer Mike Corcoran, author of Duel in the Sun, thinks he can. I'm normally not a fan of
Westwood's ability to hold it together, but I am today. I think his
ballstriking has been really good, his tempo, which for him can be a
problem because of that jerky, thrusting swing he has, has looked good.
And when he's missed the mark he's been pretty solid. He only hit one
really lousy putt yesterday that I can recall. On the downside, I think
that guys like him, Couples, Darren Clarke--guys who tend to be
"laughers"--don't do well under pressure. They are wired to deal with
stress by laughing at it or ignoring it rather than embracing it, so
that'll be interesting to watch.
Phil kind of falls into
that category too, but he's made so many mistakes in big moments that
it has to have steeled him to some degree.

3:13 p.m. Woods saves par on No. 3 as well. 7-under, 1-over for the day. 3:12 p.m. Incredible curling 10-footer par save for Choi on No. 3. Stays at 9-under. 3:09 p.m. Unlucky Phil. A tree seed falls on the line of his putt and bumps his ball off the line. Westwood makes a birdie and takes the lead back at 12-under. 3:08 p.m. Hunter Mahan makes birdie on No. 3, now 7-under. Just saying... 3:06 p.m. Woods overshoots the green on 3. Friend of the Blog Brady Riggs writes: Tiger's swing so far is as solid as his marriage. That didn't take long. 3:05 p.m. Mickelson is same bunker as Tiger was, but gets out and will have a shot at birdie. 3:02 p.m. Roar alert! Couples makes birdie on 3. Now 9-under. 3 p.m. K.J. Choi make his birdie on No. 2 and he's 9-under. Reader Hugh Wolfgang has a question: Why does Nance on
CBS keep saying that Tiger and Choi have shot IDENTICAL rounds the last
three days? Tiger shot 68 in the first round, Choi shot 67. In round 2,
Choi shot 71, Tiger shot 70. Their score after round 2 was the same,
but their first two rounds weren't identical!
True, but Nantz carries a poetic license to kill. 2:58 p.m. Woods (7-under) leaves his first attempt from the greenside bunker in the sand (!). He saves par, but an opportunity lost, especially after Mickelson and Westwood have good drives right behing him. 2:56 p.m. K.J. Choi nestles a wedge close to the pin on No. 2 and he'll have a birdie look. Choi and Woods are playing together for the fourth straight day. They've always seemed like buds, even more so now, according to Woods. "I've
played with him a lot over the years. K.J. is just -- he's a great guy,
and on top of that he's learned a lot of English. Our conversations are
getting a little bit longer now," Woods said Saturday.
2:55 p.m. Golf Mag's Cam Morfit hung out on the range this morning and isn't surprised that Mickelson looked good on No. 1, or that Westwood was shaky. Butch Harmon said this morning, of Phil: "I've never seen him drive the
ball this good, and it's giving him a lot of confidence." Lee Westwood,
on the other hand, has hit some very squirrelly looking drives the last
few days, usually missing left into the trees.
2:53 p.m. Take me to your co-leaders. Mickelson and Westwood tied at 11-under after par and Westwood bogey. Woods is in the greenside bunker on the par-5 second in two. Not a terrible place to be. 2:52 p.m. Reader Hugo writes: The blog is great.
Too bad that CBS can't use a graphic to show us exactly where the ball
was for Tiger's second shot on 1. Really hard to understand the
relative location of the trees, the ball, and the green, when they are
that far off the reservation.
Agreed, but the great thing about the Masters on TV is that we fans know the course so well too. 2:50 p.m. Instead of a roar on No. 2, we get an Augusta groan as Couples misses a short putt for eagle. He gets birdie though and it 8-under. 2:49 p.m. Bogey on No. 1 for Tiger, now 7-under. Here's what Woods needs to do today, according to noted Tiger-ologist Brady Riggs. From Tiger's perspective he has to
cut the lead to 2 at worst by the time he gets to the 13 tee. If he has
done that, he is still alive. If it is any bigger than that, the odds
are long against him.
2:45 p.m. Mickelson hits his approach to about 18 feet on No. 1. Westwood hits a branch punching out of the trees, but he's the fairway. The Little Pro Eddie Merrins thinks today could belong to Mickelson. It's Westwood's tournament to lose; it's Mickelson's tournament to win. Mickelson is playing the best golf of his life. He wants this dearly and he
knows how to do it. Mentally, physically and technically, he's in the
best shape he's ever been.
2:44 p.m. Couples rides the ridge on the second green and he'll have a great look at eagle. 2:42 p.m. The final group, Lee Westwood (-12) and Phil Mickelson (-11) is off. Westwood left. Mickelson finds fairway with a 3-wood.
Text from Brady Riggs: Was that a smart play by Mickeson? OMG! 2:40 p.m. Longtime Friend of the Blog and Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs: Tiger already loose with the driver, not a good sign. 2:36 p.m. Woods over his ball in the ninth fairway. Gets it to the right front of the first green. He hit practice shots from that very spot on Wednesday. 2:34 p.m. Birdie on No. 2 for Anthony Kim, who's now six under. Kim is playing with Y.E. Yang (-5) today and already Golf Digest writer Dan Jenkins is getting hungry. 2:31 p.m. Woods' playing partner K.J. Choi (-8) misses a little right. Couples on No. 1 makes a brilliant putt from the rough and has a tap-in. 7-under. 2:29 p.m. "Fore please! Tiger Woods now driving."
Woods tee shot on No. 1 goes way way way left, and Stevie Williams might need to use Google Earth to track it down. 2:28 p.m. Couples from the ninth fairway lands behind the first green. He'll have a tough up and down. 2:25 p.m. Tiger Woods and K.J. Choi (both 8-under) walk to the first tee. The relationship between Woods and the galleries was fascinating to watch this week. Uneasy on Monday, friendly on Tuesday and just like the old days by Thursday. All that's changed is Woods' cursing is now PG-13 instead of NC-17. 2:22 p.m. Everybody is talking about Westwood, Mickelson and Woods, but no one will be a more popular champion at Augusta National than Fred Couples. As Eddie Merrins says, "Guys love him, women love him, children love him. He's beautiful to watch play golf because he's as natural as they come." We dug up this photo of Couples from his 1992 Masters win. Freddie 2:20 p.m. Fred Couples (7-under) hooks his tee shot on No. 1 into the ninth fairway. 2:18 p.m. Ernie Els makes a birdie on 12 to get to 2-over. A favorite coming in, Els never got it going this week. Here's what he told Golfweek's Alex Miceli.“This place just does it to me,”
Els said after a 3-over 75 Saturday. “I prepared and prepared, and I
think about it. It’s killing me.”
2:15 p.m. Here's legendary teaching pro Eddie Merrins on Fred Couples: He's as natural a golf player as you're ever going to see. He doesn't
like to think. He sees, feels, performs. He's like Sam Snead or a young Seve Ballesteros. Freddie's had a rebirth on the senior tour. It's like
he's playing with children. Four events, three wins. He's almost 100
under par in those four events. Augusta National is just another course where he has to related to par. It's tougher here, but he can do it.
2:14 p.m. Adam Scott (remember him?) makes eagle on No. 7 to get to 1-over. They're out there. 2:12 p.m. Phil Mickelson is dressed all in black, Woods is in Sunday red. Dressed to kill. Fred Couples is in a pale blue shirt and his skateboard shoes. Dressed to chill. No shot of leader Lee Westwood yet. 2:09 p.m. We could have a scoring day in store, according to Golf Magazine's Cam Morfit. Spoke to former PGA and U.S. Open champion David Graham, who is on the
pins committee, and he told me expects more fireworks today. The main
change, according to Graham and caddies Tony Navarro and Jim MacKay, is
the pin on one, which has been used before but not in the final round.
It's back a bit on a shelf, about middle of the green, when it used to
be in a hollow. Other than that pins are about the same.
Pins  Note the Tiger pin on 16. 2:03 p.m. So who can really win this thing? We asked World Golf Teacher Hall of Fame member and longtime Friend of the Blog Eddie Merrins, who said that anyone within five strokes has a legitimate shot. That leaves us five guys, plus Merrins gives a puncher's chance to the guys at 6-under.
At 2:20 p.m. Fred Couples (-7) and Hunter Mahan (-6)
At 2:30 p.m. K.J. Choi (-8) and Tiger Woods (-8)
At 2:40 p.m. Lee Westwood (-12) and Phil Mickelson (-11) 2 p.m. Welcome to the Live Blog of the Republican National Convention...oops I mean the Masters Tournament. After an already legendary Saturday, we could see one of the most entertaining final rounds ever. We'll be here watching until the very end, so join the conversation by leaving comment below.

Golf Magazine's Mike Walker will be live blogging the final round of the 2010 Masters starting at 2 p.m. Eastern on Sunday.
You can also read the blog, join the discussion and keep up with our leaderboard in our new Masters Nerve Center. To join the discussion now, you can leave a comment at right or at the bottom of this post.

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