Again, Angel Cabrera plays his best when it counts
Argentine continues trend of performing well only in majors
Seattle Times news services
AUGUSTA, Ga. — Angel Cabrera usually comes up big in these situations.
He did again. It just wasn't enough to win his second green jacket.
Cabrera forced a playoff with a brilliant 7-iron to three feet on the 72nd hole of the Masters, but he lost to Adam Scott on the second hole of a playoff when the Australian rolled in a 12-foot birdie putt.
Still, it was a remarkable accomplishment for a 43-year-old golfer who came in ranked No. 269 in the world, and never seems to play winning golf unless he's in the biggest tournaments of all.
"I like the challenges," Cabrera said through an interpreter. "These tournaments are very, very important for me. So sometimes they bring my best out of me."
As Scott celebrated, Cabrera walked up with his right hand outstretched. Despite the language barrier, the two have become good friends. They walked off the green arm in arm. As Cabrera started to pull away, Scott yanked him close and said a few words. No interpreter was needed.
"Angel is a great man," Scott said. "He's a gentleman."
At the last hole, Tianlang Guan retrieved his ball from the cup after ending his first Masters with his 48th par. The fans ringing the 18th green gave him a standing ovation. They no doubt were thinking that they had not seen the last of Guan, a 14-year-old from China who finished as the low amateur.
He carded rounds of 73-75-77-75 for a total of 12-over 300. In four days on what he described as "the most difficult course in the world," Guan did not have a double bogey.
"It's not easy to play here, to make the cut and be low amateur. I think I did a pretty good job this week and can't believe it's over."
Woods not unhappy
You could say the two-stroke penalty assessed Saturday morning to Tiger Woods kept him from making a serious charge at the leaders Sunday.
After his round Sunday, Woods, who tied for fourth place, said he never thought about the lost shots.
"Well, we could do a 'What-if' on every tournament we lose," the world's No. 1 player said. "We lose more tournaments than we win. But I certainly had my opportunities to post some good rounds this week.
"I thought I really played well. I missed a few putts this week but also made my share as well. I made a bunch of 10- to 15-footers. So overall it was a pretty good week."
• The two Puget Sound golfers in the Masters bounced back well Sunday from devastating rounds Saturday. Seattle native Fred Couples, who had a 77 Saturday to take him out of contention, closed with a 71 to finish tied for 13th at 1-under 287. The 53-year-old, who won the title in 1992, has finished in the top 15 every year since turning 50. Puyallup's Ryan Moore had a 68 to tie for 38th at 4-over 292. His 68 was 13 strokes better than his 81 Saturday.
• Rae's Creek fronting the 155-yard, par-3 12th became a graveyard for golf balls belonging to defending champion Bubba Watson as well as Kevin Na. Both took a 10 on the hole after hitting three balls into the creek.