Sirak: Immelman Ahead at the Turn
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- If Tiger Woods is to pull off his first-ever come-from-behind victory in the final round of a major championship, he is going to have to do it in spectacular style. The body language of Woods, who began play Sunday six strokes behind Trevor Immelman at the Masters, personified frustration as he fashioned an even-par 36 over the front nine at Augusta National GC and picked up no ground, although he did pass a fast-fading Paul Casey to move into fourth place.
Woods made one birdie and one bogey and, in perhaps the greatest indication that this might not be his day, failed to birdie either of the two par-5 holes on the front nine. When Nick Faldo came from six back Sunday to beat Greg Norman in the 1996 Masters he made birdies on all four par-5s, the only holes on which you can be really aggressive at Augusta National.
Immelman, meanwhile, rebounded from a shaky bogey on No. 1 with a spectacular second shot on No. 5 for a short birdie putt to get back to 11 under par, where he started the day. But he made a mistake off the tee on the par-5 eighth hole when he drove into a bunker, then three-putted for a bogey, finishing with a 37 on the front nine to fall to 10 under and a two-stroke lead over Steve Flesch.
Brandt Snedeker also bogeyed the first hole but more than made up for that blunder with a 45-foot eagle putt on No. 2. But he bogeyed three of the next five holes and the ninth to turn the front nine in 39 to be four shots off Immelman's pace. Casey, who started the day four strokes behind Immelman, followed a double bogey on No. 4 with four consecutive bogeys and posted an ugly 41 on the front nine to fall eight back at the turn.
-- Ron Sirak