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Masters Notebook: Tiger falls just short

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Posted: April 13, 2008 6:50 p.m.
Updated: April 28, 2008 5:00 a.m.
    AUGUSTA – He owns 13 major titles but none of them came when he was forced to rally from behind.
    That trend didn’t change Sunday for Tiger Woods, who couldn’t orchestrate the charge many expected when he came to Augusta gunning for his fifth Masters championship, the first step in an unprecedented Grand Slam. The world’s top golfer birdied the final hole of to finish 5-under for the tournament, three shots behind winner Trevor Immelman.
    “Certainly, this week was not one of my best,” Woods said.
He roared up the leaderboard Sunday with a 75-foot birdie putt on No. 11, a promising start to crucial Amen Corner. But he failed to gain ground when his when his five-foot birdie putt slid left on 13, and he bogeyed the next hole.
    Woods struggled with his putting throughout the tournament, and the intimidation factor of him lurking behind the leaders never materialized.
    “I just didn’t make any putts I needed to make all week,” said Woods, who finished second at the Masters for the second-straight year. “I just didn’t quite have it this week. The shorter putts I just kept dragging it.”

Bogeys plague Snedeker
    For Brandt Snedeker, the thought of playing Sunday at the Masters is all the motivation he needs.
    The 27-year-old Nashville, Tenn., native was in the final pairing Saturday and Sunday, but nine bogeys in the last round ended his green jacket hopes in his first Masters appearance as a professional. He finished 4-under for the tournament, four shots out of the lead and tied for third place.
    “It was a rough day out there,” a teary eyed Snedeker said afterwards. “It’s hard to put so much effort into something and get nothing out of it. It’s just tough right now.”
    Snedeker couldn’t stay out of trouble early, carding five bogeys on the front nine including four on his first seven holes. The front-nine tribulations overshadowed the excitement of his only eagle of the week, a long putt on the second hole that temporarily put him in a tie for first with Immelman at 10-under.
    Snedeker survived similar bogey woes Saturday when he bogeyed all three holes of Amen Corner before bouncing back with birdies on three of his last five holes.   
    It looked like he wouldn’t fare much better on the back nine Sunday after he opened Amen Corner with a bogey. He rebounded with a long birdie putt on 12, but his second shot on 13 plunked into Rae’s Creek for the second straight day forcing him to settle for bogey. He got a stroke back with a birdie on the next hole.

Phil falters
    Two-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson climbed as high as third on the leaderboard Saturday, leaving everyone wondering if he’d make a charge in the final round.
    But Lefty never threatened, shooting even par Sunday to finish 2-under for the tournament and tied for fifth place.
    “I was hoping, obviously, to make more of a run than I did, but it was a tough day today,” Mickelson said. “I felt like I had to fight pretty hard to keep it around par. I certainly had some chances that could have brought it lower, but it (wouldn’t) have been enough anyways.”
    Only four players shot under par in the swirling winds Sunday.

    Alex Pellegrino can be reached at (912) 489-9413.
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