RORY MCILROY WILL TAKE A four-shot lead into the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club. McIlroy fashioned a solid 70 on Saturday while his closest pursuers failed to mount a charge. Patient and poised, McIlroy birdied three of the final six holes to put himself in position to not only win his first major, but to do it in dominating style with a wire-to-wire romp through the world-famous former nursery.
But it’s not over.
The Irish phenom must survive a pressure-filled Sunday to earn his spot along the game’s greatest champions at America’s most exclusive golf club. Those who hope to have something to say about the outcome include the quartet at 8 under that trail McIlroy’s 12-under total. They are 2009 Masters champion Angel Cabrera, Charl Schwartzel, K.J. Choi and Jason Day.
Adam Scott and Luke Donald are another shot back at 7 under. Bo Van Pelt is alone in eighth at 6 under.
Carding a 74, Tiger Woods lost all the momentum from his exciting Friday charge up the leaderboard. His putting woes continued after the flash of the old Tiger. Whereas the putter used to save Tiger time and again, now it’s the most troublesome club in the bag. This isn’t new. I first noticed putting problems on Sunday’s back nine in 2008 when Trevor Immelman won. It happens to all the greats.
Keep an eye on that Cabrera character, especially if McIlroy stumbles on the way to Butler Cabin. Angel slipped into Kenny Perry’s Green Jacket two years ago and swiped the U.S. Open trophy from Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk at Oakmont in 2007.
But Rory will do it if his mind is right on Sunday. I don’t know how he could look more ready.
−The Armchair Golfer