The Masters at Augusta: Live commentary, analysis & highlights

Tiger Woods birdies the 16th on his way to victory at Augusta
Tiger Woods birdies the 16th on his way to victory at Augusta

Tiger Woods has won The Masters for a fifth time, his 15th major championship some 11 years on from number 14. Recap a thrilling final day.

Final Masters leaderboard

-13 Woods

-12 D Johnson, Schauffele, Koepka

-11 Day, Simpson, Finau, Molinari

-10 Rahm, Cantlay, Fowler


1935: This is a day which will go down in history. It is, to my mind, the greatest achievement in one of the great sporting careers. Tiger Woods has done what so many thought was beyond him.

He is without equal in this sport and I have no more to say. It's been a thrilling week made perfect by a truly remarkable feat of sporting heroism.

Tiger Woods.

1932: There's a line of players there to congratulate a man who was their hero growing up, and who has just beaten them all, aged 43.

Thomas, Fowler, Bubba, Koepka, even Poulter. A line of total respect for a player who has achieved more in the game than they can dream of.

1931: "I've never seen emotions from Tiger Woods like this, ever - I've known him since he was 17 years old. He has never shown joy like this."

Butch Harmon summing up these scenes better than I can. He is absolutely ecstatic, whooping and yelling like a man who has just done the unthinkable.

1930: Extremely emotional scenes here as Tiger embraces his family. This is a side of him we just didn't get to see before.

1928: In goes the putt and he is ecstatic, the crowd are chanting his name, and this is just incredible.

TIGER WOODS WINS THE MASTERS

1927: So too does Molinari and he'll share fifth with Finau, Day and Simpson.

1927: Finau pars the last - an excellent effort.

1925: Tiger just misses on the high side which, believe it or not, will aggravate him for a moment or two. Then he'll have two feet for The Masters, major number 15.

1922: Woods sensibly chips up to perhaps 15 feet. Two putts for the title.

1920: Well, it's a good job Koepka missed. Tiger goes for the hero shot, a big, high cut, and misses the green short and right by 30 yards.

Shouldn't be any trouble here but it's not the birdie putt he wanted.

1918: Tiger's mother and children are beside the green. They've never been there to see dad do this. What a special moment.

1916: Simpson does birdie the last for a round of 70 and 11-under. Koepka taps in for one shot better and, surely, a share of second.

His strong major record continues but how he'll regret that tee-shot at 12.

1915: Misread from Koepka and Tiger wins unless he plays the rest of this hole like me. Sporting history unfolding before our eyes. This is one of the greatest triumphs there has been in any sport.

1914: Hits his stinger with the three-wood. Depending how far down it is he might need to shape his second as he's right on the edge of the fairway, but it's basically job done with the tee-shot.

1912: Koepka being Koepka - eight feet for birdie and half a chance. It's funny though, 18 is a hard hole, but somehow it doesn't feel like a dangerous one if all you need is par.

Like so many holes here, it becomes dangerous when you chase birdie. Woods can take less than driver, leave 180 in and fire into the heart of the green. Expect him to do it.

1911: Molinari makes birdie. He'll know that while all the focus after this will be on Woods and history, he's blown a great chance.

Finau pars, Tiger pars, they're off to 18.

1909: Here's Tiger then. If this goes in, it's over.

It misses on the high side and there's still hope for Koepka if he can birdie the last.

1906: Koepka's drive on 18 is perfect, as Schauffele bravely holes for par and potentially a share of second, if not third. He shot 73 on Thursday and rounds of 65, 70, 68 since.

And how about that? Harding pours in a birdie at 18, and that puts him 12th. He's back in next year unless Poulter birdies the last. Massive for the South African.

1904: Molinari regathers himself to fire an excellent approach to 17. Still fighting, the Italian, and he will recover from this.

Finau could still spoil the party but that's a so-so approach to 30 feet and he'll need that to go in.

Now Tiger, 143 yards away, wedge.

Ten feet away.

1902: Solid effort by Schauffele from the sand but 12 feet left for 12-under. Tiger is waiting in the 17th fairway.

1900: Koepka misses. Mark the date. On April 14, 2019, Tiger Woods is going to win his fifth Green Jacket and 15th major championship if he can par the last two holes. He may even be able to afford a bogey.

1858: Schauffele now to 18, from the bunker... chunked it. He's in sand and his Masters hopes are over. All about whether Koepka can bind a birdie and challenge Tiger. At present this is comfortable.

1856: Woods finds the fairway at 17, just a gorgeous drive. Up ahead, Koepka has a must-make 13-foot putt.

1853: Finau birdie. He's fighting. Woods birdie. He's winning.

1852: Molinari can't birdie 16 and it's a question of whether he finishes as high as second or as low as 12th now. Chance to win went at 15.

1849: There's a feeling that Koepka isn't the most popular player with fans or media, for reasons unclear. Well, if he finishes birdie-birdie here he could yet become the most hated man in North America which, as those with a keen eye on current affairs will know, is quite a contest.

1847: Koepka knows what happened there as he has to wait on the 17th tee. What a shot by Tiger Woods. He hasn't missed a beat since that fortunate break at 11. This has been the Tiger of old.

1846: Tiger nearly aces 16. HE NEARLY ACES 16. He'll have less than two feet for birdie. And he hit that shot chewing gum.

It's 11 years since major number 14. He's a couple of good swings from number 15.

1845: Fowler bogeys the last. Par for the full place but he misses from nine feet. Depending on your terms he'll finish in some kind of dead-heat. Half a chance of full place if you had 10.

1844: I'm amazed by DJ's putt on 18, which is weak and never up. It's a fine effort overall, a round of 68 for the clubhouse lead, but the only way he can win is if Tiger Woods plays the last three holes in worse than par.

Great save from Koepka. Two holes left to find a birdie.

1843: Schauffele pulls his approach to the back of 17 and that's a tough two-putt. At 16, Poulter's chances end as he can only par.

1842: With three holes to play, Tiger Woods leads The Masters on his own. This is as good as it gets, folks.

1841: Koepka can't do anything to stop his ball racing past the hole at 16. Molinari makes double and he's back to 10-under - two double-bogeys on the back-nine from a player who made one bogey over the first 54 holes.

Finau misses a great chance.

1839: DJ likes his second to the last and so he should - it clears the bunker and he'll have 15 feet for 13-under. There are only a couple of players who could beat that, and one of them is Tiger.

Here he is, across the green on 15, for a two-shot lead... never threatens the hole but two feet left for birdie and the solo lead.

1838: Molinari fats his fifth, too, and is extremely fortunate that it stays up. He's looking at seven at best.

Fowler from the trees on 18... can he find the birdie? Probably not as he hits it in the sand.

1837: GOLF! Bloody hell. Finau eight feet for eagle to get within one of the current lead.

1834: Mistake from DJ as he finds the fairway bunker at the last. He just has to find a three. Koepka misses his spot on 16 and faces a rapid, 40-foot putt.

Molinari now... oh my word. He's fatted his pitch into the water. Game over for the Italian. Woods now odds-on.

1833: Woods wants his approach to 15 to come down and it does, right in the middle of the green. He'll need to two-putt from 40 feet to edge to the front. Or hole it and send the world mad.

1831: Woods is about to hit the most important shots he's hit in a decade. Schauffele first... and that's some par. There are birdies available at 17 and 18, make no mistake.

1830: Five-way tie for the lead as Koepka's birdie putt just stays high. This is absolutely unreal

1829: New co-leader, Dustin Johnson. He will know he needs to go Full Schwartzel to win and that means one more.

Heavy-handed from Schauffele as Fowler pours in his birdie at 17.

1827: Simpson will have five feet for birdie at 15 to reach 11-under.

1826: Fowler will have a decent look at the 17th, 12 or so feet, after an excellent drive and solid second. DJ now, one shot better, still a potential winner if he can go 3-3... and that's 12 or 13 feet underneath the hole.

1824: It's advantage Tiger off the 15th tee as Molinari misses right and is in the straw. Woods is in the fairway and with a great angle.

Looks like a closing bogey for Thomas to cap a frustrating week and it's a round of 68 for Rahm who should finish just inside the top 10 on 10-under.

1822: Yesterday, Koepka made eagle at 15 to reignite his challenge. He has 30 feet to do the same and take the lead.

At 16, a pumped-up Schauffele flies it too far and he'll have 20 feet or so for birdie.

1821: While we await Koepka's second to 15, news of some other also-rans. Wise shot 68-67 this weekend for a share of 16th currently - he's going to just miss out on an invite for 2020 but perhaps this will trigger an upturn in form, in which case he can earn it himself.

Harding's challenge has stalled and he's also tied for 16th currently, with three to play. Two birdies for an invite.

1819: It's always right. As you were. Cantlay goes bogey-bogey at 16 and 17 to blow his first chance to win a major. He'll learn. Schauffele meanwhile pars 15. The best chance left to make a birdie is 16.

1818: Tiger misses an inch or two on the low side and that gives Molinari the chance to lead once more.

1815: DJ makes no mistake and that's three birdies in four to get to 11-under, which is where Day finishes after an excellent closing birdie.

It's hard to think 12-under wins given that Woods and Molinari have putts to get to 13 and then the par-five 15th, not to mention 16 and its pin position. I'll go 13 for a play-off, 14 for the win.

1814: Fowler lip-out. Chance gone.

1813: Bubba finishes bogey-bogey to cost each-way backers and post eight-under, which will see him finish around 15th.

At the 14th, Woods plays for the ridge and it's excellent, but as we've seen all day these soft greens aren't helping as much as they can - he'll have 13 feet or so down the hill.

Molinari's chance to reply, and it's about a foot and a half closer.

1811: For all I rate him very highly, Cantlay hasn't quite had the ruthlessness which we anticipated since returning to the PGA Tour. His win in Vegas was fairly ugly and since making eagle at 15 he's hit a couple of very poor shots and missed a short putt.

He misses the fairway on 17 as Schauffele goes long at 15.

Fowler and DJ, meanwhile, have birdie chances from inside 10 feet at 16. No margin for error - I still think they have too much to do, to be honest.

1808: Impressive from Molinari to birdie 13 and find the fairway on 14 given what happened at 12.

Ahead to 15, Schauffele has to punch one down the fairway, over the walkway, and he'll be pitching over water. That's not one for the nervy.

1806: Fowler makes it three in a row to get to 10-under. His chance depends on making it six in a row but he's in the top eight now.

Thomas misses on 17. He's got to be near last in this field in putting.

1805: All three players birdie 13. I'd fancy my chances there today. It means we've a three-way tie and I believe one of these four players is your Masters champion:

Woods, Molinari, Schauffele, Koepka.

1803: Cantlay misses. I think that's that for him unless he can find a 3-3 finish.

Woods, for eagle... and it's short. Both he and Molinari will make birdie but for now, Schauffele leads on his own - though he's right on 15.

1801: JT has eight feet on 17. He can't win but he can hit the frame with a 3-4 finish or similar. He's missed so many putts.

1800: Ortiz misses and Hovland scrapes it by a shot. Feel for the Mexican but he can be immensely proud of a final-round 69 to lie 36th currently.

Ahead to 16, and Cantlay is aiming 30 feet right of the flag here. He's judged it fairly well but will have eight feet, maybe seven, for par. Needs it.

1759: Nine feet between Ortiz and a closing par. If it goes in, he shares top amateur honours with Hovland. If it doesn't, the Norwegian wins. Whatever happens, sensational from both of these emerging talents.

Hovland is going to be a star in the mould of recent top amateurs, Matsuyama and DeChambeau. I promise.

1758: Woods' approach to 13 isn't his finest but it is the closest, 35 feet away. Outside eagle chances for both him and Francesco, with Finau just off the green in two.

1757: Schauffele is just a killer and he birdies 14 to move into a share of the lead.

As he does so, Molinari clears the water on 13 by the width of a West Ham shirt and will have an outside eagle chance as Day saves par at 17 and Bubba makes bogey.

1755: Cantlay needs one more in my opinion, and he's hung it way out to the right on 16. "Understandable," says the commentator and this is true. That shot Willett hit to the same hole in a similar situation three years ago remains one of the underrated thwacks in Masters history, folks.

1754: Eagle for Koepka. 13 and 15 could not be any easier than they are today. To be honest 13 is a little farcical. I know par is just a number but Thomas had 140 yards in earlier.

1753: Eagle for Cantlay. Driver, seven-iron. Sensational stuff and let us stop pretending Bubba and Day are contenders.

"He's going to have to do something extraordinary," says McGinley of Day. As in ace the last.

1752: A point worth making, I felt...

1750: Woods is ideal on 13 despite losing his footing as rain begins to fall. Molinari also fires an excellent drive down there.

Finau made double, by the way. Here's the JT ace...

1748: Magnificent from Cantlay and 20 feet behind the flag for eagle on 15.

I have a text from a friend who doesn't not watch golf and he can't stop watching golf. I've admonished him for not mentioning the blog. This is very very exciting.

1746: Massive save from Woods. Massive. He's favourite to win The Masters, mate.

The roar we heard meanwhile comes from the 16th, where Rahm makes a two to get to 10-under. Still, McGinley insists these dudes can win from there.

Thomas then aces it! Unreal. Can't putt? Don't putt. Shame it came after a five and a six.

1745: It's a double for Molinari and the lead is now 11-under.

I know nobody cares but Ortiz is about to birdie the eighth. Sigh. He's a birdie away from somehow finishing as the top amateur. Or a bogey from finishing second.

1743: Another twist at 12, potentially, as Woods comes up six feet short. If he misses and Molinari makes... they halve the hole.

1741: Fowler has six feet on 14 to get to nine-under. He'd need that, then an eagle, then another couple. Schauffele now on 13, this for at least a share of the lead... and it's always high. Birdie though and 11-under.

1740: Day misses a good chance and I believe his hopes die there, too. Sorry to be negative. Molinari has 10 feet or so for bogey, Finau will have four or five. Great shot from big Tony.

1737: McGinley telling us Day and Bubba can win now but I would stress that 13 is a pitch-n-putt hole today. Schauffee will have 20 feet for eagle - it just isn't a par-five today.

Bubba with a creative par at 16 and to have any chance he'd need to finish 3-3. I'm sorry, it's a nonsense to make out as though he's a huge runner here. He isn't.

1735: Woods finds the green a long way left of the flag. Sensible play, over the bunker, knowing that short would be spared.

Finau also comes up short and he looks to have found water, too.

1734: WOW! Molinari also wet on 12. This is staggering.

1733: My Request-A-Bet was Hovland to make the cut (tick emoji while we're at it), Bubba top left-hander which is just about weighed in, 10-under or better winning score and... Scott top 20. He's 18th. Ties paid in full. Could be close, not that I imagine anyone backed the 11/1 chance.

1731: Doubles for Koepka and Poulter, the latter falling six adrift and that's that. Koepka could rescue it but needs to get both shots back in one go at 13.

1729: Tiger gets both speed and line wrong at 11. The silver cloud is that he won't have to play first at 12 but he needs to mop this up for par from three feet.

At 12, Koepka misses and that's a double. Nobody is safe at Augusta. Woods makes par.

1726: Poulter and Koepka will have eight feet apiece for bogey at the 12th. Ahead at 15, Day birdies and Bubba eagles - they both get to 10-under.

1724: Ideal. He's 35 feet right of the flag.

I can't believe this - Poulter also wet on 12.

1723: Huge moment coming for Tiger. He has a shot, but if he attacks the pin that means a draw, and if he over-cooks it that means water. Front right of the green would be ideal. This isn't the time to try and do something - even if you're called Tiger Woods.

1721: Brave and excellent from Francesco as he leaves 30 feet for birdie at the 11th.

1719: Thomas three-putts and that takes him from a full place to no place as things stand. He's such a good putter when at his best but he just cannot crack these greens. First bogey since Friday and all of them have been clumsy.

Big moment on 12 meanwhile as Koepka hits it in the water. That could be his Masters dream over for the year.

To nine, Hovland... and he three-putts. Bogey. One-shot lead. It's a cruel game, this one.

1716: Back on the front-nine Hao-tong Li is six-under for the day and has a brilliant round going.

Back to the action and Woods is way right, just like yesterday. Molinari is only a little right and may be worse off for a smaller miss.

1715: Heard a roar. Could it be Thomas from 20 feet on 14? Or has Cantlay pitched in on 13? It's not Cantlay, who goes through the green with his third.

Poulter now for par... misses low. Tame effort.

Oh and it wasn't JT. He hits a 20-foot putt 27 feet and is no working hard for par.

1713: A massive few minutes for the leader as Finau also misses. At 11, Poulter has 10 feet or more for his par as Molinari tidies up from three or four feet to lead by two.

Koepka will have five feet for his par at 11 as Schauffele just misses a good chance at 12. That tee-shot awaits Molinari soon but boy it's calm right now and playing as easy as it ever does.

1711: Woods leaves his par putt short. Astonishing. At the ninth, 33 feet down the hill for Hovland - that's for birdie and five-under. Two putts will do.

1710: A little surprised to see Molinari take a free drop rather than stand on a drainage cover, simply because he looked to have a great lie and now it's sitting down a bit.

Hard to tell from here, obviously, and it's a sensational shot which almost goes in and stops no more than three feet away.

1709: Cantlay basically shanks his second at 13, a lay-up. It's no disaster but his angle is not going to be good now.

I pause to thank Mark for two emails. Sadly, both had bad words in that I can't publish, as Schauffele leaves himself 15 feet for birdie at 12.

He's there, lurking, and is a candidate to make an eagle and get involved at the top.

Brilliant from Finau and he's inside six feet for par.

1707: Woods looking at bogey as he goes around 20 feet deep at the 10th. Could be that all three players drop a shot as Koepka fires his approach to 40 feet at the 11th.

1705: Opening for Molinari as Finau misses left on 10, Rory '11 territory, and Woods chips out. But then Molinari misses left himself and he's short-sided, albeit sitting up. He'll try to flop that close and I'd say will likely go 10 feet long.

One of those tricky runs as Poulter has to punch down the 11th fairway and leave a wedge in. Woods next from around 150 with his third...

1703: Schauffele drops one in from distance for a birdie at the 11th and is within three alongside Cantlay and Poulter, both in pine straw at 13 and 11 respectively.

Molinari is down the middle on 10 and he's a shade of odds-on with Sky Bet, who make Woods 4/1 and Koepka 9/2. Surprised to see him quite so short and the 18/1 Schauffele may appeal to some, likewise 10/1 Finau.

If you really do believe in Tiger, he's 6/1 to eagle either 13 or 15. The former is a definite chance if he finds the fairway.

1659: Koepka knows just how important that par save is at the 10th and he remains two back as Woods flares one out to the right.

1656: Brilliant from Finau as he drops it in the right side. He's out in 36, level for the day, and that's still within two as Molinari also makes a sweaty four.

1655: Molinari is heavy-handed and goes eight feet past the hole on nine. He'll putt for par after Finau, who is some 15 feet away after finding the bunker.

More importantly, Ortiz bogey at five and Hovland has two in hand.

1654: Augusta would've exploded had Tiger's ball turned half an inch left and rotated once more. What a par that is on nine as he lags it hole-side using all those contours he knows so well.

JT did hit his drive over the corner on 13 and has 22 feet for eagle. Pop that in, birdie 14, eagle 15, birdie 16 and he's 14-under. Birdie 17 for 15-under, par the last and we'll see. Right?

1652: Increasingly I think I'd like Poulter to win. Don't hate me. He has 20 feet for birdie at the 10th.

Oosthuizen keeps his place hopes alive with a birdie at the 11th the awkward git. Why can't he do the easy things better?

1650: If the tracker is right, Thomas has 131 yards in to the par-five 13th having cut off more of the corner than you'll likely ever see. Not totally convinced but it looks a good spot from which to create an eagle chance I say.

Ahead on the green, Day has one of those eagle chances but it just slides by.

1648: As I say that Woods appears to slip and pulls his approach to the ninth. It goes right to the back edge and leaves 45 feet or more straight down the hill. Tricky.

Molinari has an opening, then, and plays over the flag to around 35 feet. Not his best.

1645: As we approach the turn, whatever happens, it's good to have him back, in red, in with a chance.

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods is one back at Augusta

1643: Superb birdie at the 11th from Cantlay as he moves within three. Koepka meanwhile slices his drive off the 10th and that's the worst time to do that - he'll be in Bubba '12 territory at best.

A welcome boost at 12 where Thomas makes birdie - 10 places and he's now T9, heading to 13. He hasn't made a bogey since Friday and should've nearly won this.

And another boost as Hovland birdies the seventh. Two holes left, he leads Ortiz by one, with the Mexican on the fifth.

1641: Kuchar forces one all the way back at the 10th and will make birdie to move to nine-under. Eight potential winners here, if you include those at nine. Five if you don't and those five are in the final two groups.

Good drive down nine for Tiger.

1639: He strolls it in. Brilliant punch and counter-punch. Finau also birdies and he's still there, lurking, two behind and with the power to destroy the two par-fives.

1638: Just magnificent from Molinari as he rolls in the birdie putt. I would wager he's leading the field in putting now and he's certainly leading in the category which matters most.

Vital that Woods answers from 10 feet.

1637: We didn't see it, so Fowler missed. Koepka's putt on nine is even better and he'll par.

1636: It's a good bump and run from Woods but not that much closer than Molinari. All about the putter.

The same is true on nine with both Poulter and Koepka long and putting downhill. Easy to send these 10 feet by but Poulter's is just beautiful to three feet at the most.

1634: Oosthuizen makes his 10th bogey of the week on the heels of his ninth and he's six-under, only just inside the top 20 now.

1633: Really good from Molinari as he sends an approach to around 12 feet at the eighth. Again, with Woods through the back we could see anything from a bigger lead to an extinguished one here.

Finau also has a mid-range eagle chance.

1630: "That'll be on the next tee-box!" quips Woods as he fires a flier through eight, where Molinari was forced to lay-up.

Ahead at 10, Fowler's very slim chance could become a little thicker as he has 10 feet for birdie on a tough hole. We'll know if he makes it because they'll show it on TV.

1627: Schauffele birdies the ninth having also birdied the eighth and he's nine-under. There are four 20-something Americans in the top seven here, at a course which always used to favour abundant experience.

1625: Ortiz birdies the fourth, Hovland bogeys the sixth, and the top amateur battle is tied. Hovland still favourite as he's played four and five... but this is closer than it looked like being.

If he can finished 4-4-4 that's surely enough. Big if.

1623: Finau flies the bunker with something left. Huge. Meanwhile it's a three-putt par from Poulter and he'll be red-faced heading to the ninth tee.

Molinari now off the eighth... bunkered. He's not driving the ball at all well. Not sure I've said that before.

Koepka birdies the eighth.

1622: That's seriously clumsy from Poulter as he races a long-range eagle look at least 15 feet past on eight. Back at the tee, Woods goes right and that means missing the bunker - it could be one of those misses which is so far offline that it becomes fine.

1620: We could have four players separated by a shot here as Koepka leaves himself six feet for birdie at the eighth. Hovland meanwhile bogeys six and Ortiz has seven feet to join him on three-under at the third.

1618: Mickelson doubles the eighth and that's his goose cooked as Tiger pops in the birdie after Molinari calmly makes his bogey.

1617: It's a bogey, far too much borrow. In fact I can't give him that - four feet left to avoid a catastrophic double on a fairly innocuous hole.

<insert Poulter gif>

1616: Not that I'm qualified to tell him what he ought to have done but Molinari doesn't go anywhere near far enough up the slope to get it coming back to where he wants it.

As such he has another 10-foot putt, this time downhill and with some bend, for par. Poulter meanwhile is 40 feet away in two at the par-five eighth.

1614: Ortiz misses, phew. Scott meanwhile is T2 in the top former winner category, one Woods probably has sewn up. There's a four-way tie for two places. Tighter than I would like.

1612: Hello - Tiger damn near holes his second. Tap-in birdie coming and you'd think at worst he's back within two.

Finau gets a little kiss off the cushion and has 10 feet.

1611: Here's that chip from Molinari at sox and he'll need another scramble at seven after missing the green short and right. Not ideal that - he may have to pitch to the top of the green and bring it back with the slope.

1609: Meanwhile Hovland pars the fifth. In his favour is the fact Ortiz still has to get through four and five and if he does so without dropping a shot he's better than most.

Suspect Hovland is four pars from doing it, maybe even three pars and a bogey.

1608: You know when people say it makes a different noise when Garcia hits it? The same is true of Poulter - but for different reasons.

Hard not to admire the man as he finds the fairway on eight.

Meanwhile in the top amateur saga, Ortiz has eight feet to birdie the second and get within one. Forgive my disappointment - he had 260 yards for his third and has landed the thing on a dime.

1603: Molinari's three par saves today: 13ft, 8ft, 7ft. He's scoring better than he might be as another drive misses the fairway at seven.

1601: Francesco saves par. This is unreal short-game stuff from a player who, genuinely, did not have a short-game until last year.

1600: Woods has let some shots slip here as he misses a good chance. He's missed three short putts since birdie at the third. Molinari might get out of here with his lead still at three as Fowler birdies the eighth.

1558: Oosthuizen and Fowler will both have around nine feet for birdie at the eighth. Must-make stuff. They can't win if these don't go in - and probably still can't if they do.

Finau lags close and will par the sixth. Next, Woods for birdie.

1557: Sensational. Six feet at most.

1556: Can't stress enough how tricky this chip is going to be on six after Francesco takes relief. Too cute and he won't make the green, too heavy and he'll run down to 50 feet.

At seven, Poulter spins one back to around three feet at the most and should move to 10-under.

1554: Lovely drive from Poulter at the seventh - that's a big part of the challenge dealt with and he'll fancy firing at that flag. He should give himself a good birdie chance here.

1553: Not quite a dart. Maybe a soft-tip? Anyway, he's inside 15 feet after a nice kick off the banking to the right. Potential for a big swing here at the sixth.

1552: Position Z for Molinari at six and this will be the most serious test of his par-or-better steak since, well, Thursday. He's long, very long, and chipping downhill towards a pin tucked on a narrow tier. Good luck.

In response, no surprise Finau comes up short. Time for a Tiger dart?

1550: Cantlay misses a good chance at the eighth as Rory and Kisner both move to five-under for the day. Rory is now 20th with Fleetwood, but Hovland drops a shot to fall back to four-under.

As he does so, Olesen chips in for birdie at the eighth and the top Scandinavian dream has taken a big hit.

1547: Woods bogeys and so does Simpson at the sixth. Molinari, having driven it way right, could be three clear having been one ahead just 20 minutes ago.

And in it goes. Phenomenal around the greens this week. Few sentences would've seemed less believable a couple of years ago than 'Molinari is going to win the Masters with his short-game'.

1545: Koepka bogeys the sixth having gone long. These Sunday pins bring danger into virtually every hole and he's three back - for now.

Woods will be next to go at the fifth as Finau makes bogey.

1545: Woods' putt is also very poor, even acknowledging the difficulty level. He'll do well to par - these are big moments on the fifth green with all three battling.

Ahead at six, Poulter makes birdie and he's suddenly four back and could be about to close to three.

1542: Nobody could ever accuse Augusta National of self-aggrandisement as Finau gets his birdie putt at five all wrong and is staring at bogey.

1542: Molinari goes all Mickelson with a flop shot at five and it runs long, 10 or so feet, so he has a job on to save par. It's a bogey for Fowler at seven, where Oosthuizen pars.

1540: Cantlay is the man making inroads and he's A1 at the eighth, where Rahm converts his eagle putt but Mickelson and Thomas can only par.

1537: Fowler fails to get out of the greenside bunker at seven with his first attempt. Title hopes were slim and may now be gone unless he get strike back at eight.

Molinari just short at the fifth, Finau onto the front and Woods 40 feet away. All to play for.

1533: Rahm made an eagle out of nowhere at 13 yesterday and may well do the same today at the eighth after another slow start. Fair to say it's been a promising first 11-and-a-bit rounds at Augusta and many will be surprised if he isn't the fourth Spaniard to win this title.

1531: Finau follows Molinari dangerously far to the right and Woods decides to play the bullet, straight down the middle, which leaves him a long way back but at least on the golf course.

1530: Cantlay is 11-under for his last 25 holes after a birdie at the seventh, where he left himself the ideal, uphill birdie chance on a hole which is offering up opportunities.

Molinari's drive at the fifth is as bad as he ever drives it, right of the crowd, and that's bother. Koepka was also right but managed to find the green and should tidy up his par.

1528: Hovland birdies the second and is now three-under for the day, five-under for the tournament. He needed to be with Ortiz playing beautifully and up to two-under himself.

Hovland is now 20th, one off the top Scanvinavian lead.

1527: The ebb and flow of Augusta is such that we get these quiet spells as the leading groups go through four and five. All about getting your par and moving on. Big moment for Woods and it's at least 10 feet.

He misses and will be annoyed. Very annoyed. The lead is two.

1525: Play has not been fast - it'll be around 1hr10 for four holes in the final group - and concerns about the weather are rumbling.

Par Molinari.

1524: Woods' effort from the front isn't great and leaves around eight feet, maybe 10, for his par. Finau next and it's a delicate chip - too delicate, and he's a foot short. Easy par, though.

1520: The fourth is a rubbish hole, I'm afraid. I bet Tiger agrees as he comes up short of the green before Molinari's hybrid flies all the way onto the back tier.

It'll officially be a missed green but by inches and that's perfect, really.

Finau last to go and he likes it, seemingly... and so he should. It's also through the back, by two yards at most, and he should be fine from there.

1516: And here's the putt that got Tiger within one...

1515: What do they say about pictures and words?

Tiger Woods and Francesco Molinari
Tiger Woods is within one of Francesco Molinari

1512: First blood Tiger Woods. That's a brilliant birdie at the third and he's 12-under, one off the lead in The Masters. Hold the internet.

1511: Finau threatens the hole with his chip but should make par at the third as Mickelson fires his approach to the 10th inside 10 feet.

Molinari comes up short, a little tentative so far but he's level, 13-under for the tournament, and it's still a score which could win this.

1508: Molinari now to the third. He's 137 away and fires his wedge about 140, leaving a good chance from 15 feet.

At the fifth, Oosthuizen makes bogey. Nice of them to show him at least.

Back to the third and Woods, from around 10 yards closer, plays a gorgeous approach to 10 feet. That's downhill, Molinari's is uphill, and there's not much in it.

Fowler... misses. Damn.

1505: Oosthuizen from 50 feet at the fifth leaves a good 10 or 12 for par. Not a good effort especially after an excellent drive broke the back of the hole.

Kuchar meanwhile bogeys the fourth to fall five adrift.

1504: Birdie for Hovland at the first to get back the shot he lost at the 18th - remember, it's a two-tee start today. Conditions perfect... for now.

Finau drives it short of the third green as Tiger goes for iron off the tee.

1501: They've shown Fowler which must mean it's a good shot... yep, 10 feet at the tough fifth hole.

Back to the third and Poulter was work to do to avoid a nightmare start and the death of his chance as Molinari finds the fairway with an iron off the tee.

1500: Back-to-back birdies for Mickelson, from one foot and 10 feet, and he's eight-under. Koepka will par the third, meanwhile.

1459: Very good save for Woods.

1458: It's a slow start for the final group as Finau and Molinari both miss chances at the second. Remember - Molinari started with five pars yesterday and shot 66, so he won't be too worried.

1456: Woods now... from a long way... and it's very solid to around five feet. Work to do but the first part of the problem solved.

Here's Koepka. How brave dare he be? Well, it's more evidence that the course is softer than ideal as he goes past the flag but hangs on in the collar 20 feet away.

1455: The third is playing wonderfully today - it's so hard to hit the ball close yet it's 350 yards off the tee. Koepka will be pitching from a nice angle albeit not the desired position right of the fairway, after Poulter hits it pin high to 30 feet. Fast putt coming.

1454: These greens are just so soft - so much for the sub-air system. Finau's third would've just about gone in last year, but instead hangs up 10 feet above the hole. He'll have a fast, breaking birdie putt.

1452: Schauffele misses low and will give back a shot there, meaning the front four have daylight.

Molinari now, and he goes with a high, grabbing pitch which rolls out to around 10 feet, maybe slightly less. Not brilliant but more than acceptable.

1450: Tiger is further back than expected and he'll have 50 feet for birdie as Koepka misses right at the third. No disaster there.

Up ahead, it'll be around 10 feet for Schauffele's par after his third hits the pin. Big putt coming.

1448: Brilliant from Molinari to leave his ball in the ideal spot short of the second green. He should pitch that close and make a birdie. I make it sound so easy.

Finau, with his second, and that's short of the right bunker. Big chance missed with a long-iron in hand.

1447: Koepka, for birdie... and it's there. Key early move from the man most likely to spoil the party for Woods, Molinari or Finau.

Simpson misses and there's trouble for Schauffele at the third.

1446: Really good break for Woods as he has a lie and a shot. He takes advantage, hooking a low one down the fairway and to wedge range.

Poulter, who makes bogey, showed what can still go wrong but equally the right number and it's a shot Woods can get very close. His approach play is his strength. I fancy him to set up a good chance.

1445: We don't get to see Koepka's third. Why would we? He'll have nine feet for birdie, Poulter something similar for par - maybe 12, actually.

Simpson fares better and has six feet to get to double-figures under-par.

1443: Some errors creeping in here as the likes of Cantlay and Johnson give back shots. The fourth is playing very tough today - around 0.2 strokes over par - while the fifth is a beast at 4.47 today, the toughest it has played all week.

1442: First big mistake from Woods comes off the second tee as he pulls it left. That could be in the stream, behind a tree - anything.

At the fifth, his old sparring partner Mickelson fires one to an inch and will make birdie to reach seven-under.

Poulter is long in three at the second and faces a really tough up and down.

1440: Kisner is the low man on the course now, four-under through eight having started at the 10th. At the 18th, Hovland is bunkered greenside on a hole which has his number as McIlroy joins him, for now, at four-under.

Back to the business end and Koepka comes up short and in sand at the second, where Simpson misses right. With Poulter having to lay-up, all three have work to do to make birdie.

1437: Fowler saves par, somehow. Still a bad decision.

1435: Harding is going to drop at least one at the second, where Kuchar makes birdie for an ideal 4-4 start. Woods tidies up as does Finau and it's as you were as the final six players all par the opener.

As yet, no serious move at them from below and it looks like Fowler will bogey the third.

At the second, the first move then arrives as Schauffele starts birdie-birdie.

1434: That's a huge save from Molinari. No emotion, just strokes it, dead-weight, into the middle of the hole.

1432: That's the clumsiest shot I've seen Molinari play this week, as he goes well long at the first - outside 10 feet for par.

At the second, Fowler comes up 25 yards short of the green and Oosthuizen goes long. What were they playing at off the tee? Drive it 30 yards short of the green and chip it on.

1430: Pars for the penultimate group at the first and off they go to the second, where Koepka's drive looks fine. As suggested, Finau was stymied at the first and has work to do to save par.

At the third, I'm a little surprised at Fowler and Oosthuizen, both having chosen to lay well back and leave around 125 yards to the classic Sunday pin which is on a tiny shelf.

Finau's pitch is nerveless in result, however nervous he may be. He's been the best of the lot this week around the greens.

1428: Here's the DeChambeau ace...

1427: Molinari first to go at the first. Looks a little left and so it is, but a soft Augusta is forgiving and he's 30 feet away in the fringe. Absolutely fine.

How aggressive does Tiger want to be, then? It's fine but not his best, to the middle of the green.

1425: Oosthuizen pars the second but having been in prime position, he'll be disappointed. Ditto Fowler.

Oosthuizen is three-under for the par-fives, Molinari is seven. The difference between them is those four shots.

1422: Molinari takes three-wood at the first and will be a long way back with his approach, though he is in the fairway.

Finau, with the big stick, and he can fly the bunker make no mistake. Trouble is he's gone left and we then get the biggest commentary mistake there is, in my opinion.

The usually excellent Murray declares it OK on bounce one and then, when it comes to rest near the base of a tree, sticks with that view. Doesn't look OK to me and he won't have much of a back-swing.

Woods, like Molinari, lays back and in the fairway.

1420: 6-6-2-5-4-4-1 for DeChambeau so far today. Remarkable as the final group ready themselves at the first.

Ahead at the second, Oosthuizen and Fowler both play poor third shots and look like missing an excellent opportunity to make the dream start.

1418: HOLE-IN-ONE! We have one at the 16th after all, and it's courtesy of DeChambeau - who was an inch or two away on Thursday. Superb from the first-round leader who has since struggled.

1416: Work to do for birdies at the second for Fowler and Oosthuizen (and DJ, but I care less about that). Fowler is bunkered, Oosthuizen just shy of it, and they'll both, surely, be using the slope to bring the ball back to the flag.

1412: Penultimate group are go and it's a brilliant opener from Koepka, 318 down the middle. Poulter is happy with his but Simpson goes left and that's a bad angle.

Ahead to the green and Schauffele rolls in a bonus birdie putt from range to get within four.

1409: Spieth is three-under through four today and McIlroy a couple under for the day as some of those big names from way back sign off on a positive.

For Spieth, now seven-under, a place in the top 10 is the first target.

Hovland pours it in! Four-under and that's without making birdie at 13 or 15.

1405: If you backed a Sunday hole in one at the 16th, which has been popular I'm sure, the slow conditions might cost you. Hoffman, who made one last year, would've made another but for the green speed costing him a foot.

Hovland plays a nice shot to around 15 feet and hasn't done anything wrong from tee-to-green this week, not really.

1400: Fowler does birdie the first to get to eight-under. His errors yesterday came at the first, 10th and 18th, and he was excellent otherwise - this is a good start in his bid to find that low number.

And in a further boost to, well, me... Oosthuizen also birdies, from 11 feet, to get within four. JT birdies the second, meanwhile, and we're in the battle for places at least.

Ahead to 15 and Hovland three-putts. That's a big blow after two mighty shots.

1358: Fowler will have 13 feet for birdie at the first. The sort of chance he'll need to be taking if he's to launch an unlikely bid for a first major championship today.

The pin at the first is not what you'd call Masters Sunday and, so far, those who've found the fairway have had little trouble setting up a decent birdie chance.

1355: Superb from Hovland and he'll have 40 feet for eagle. Thomas will also have a long-range eagle putt at the second, so that'll be a nice, straightforward par.

At the same hole in the group ahead, Day makes birdie to move to seven-under. Just a par for Spieth at the third and he's six-under, not seven as I may have suggested earlier.

1352: Cantlay, one of three to shoot an eight-under 64 on Saturday, birdies the first from just outside 20 feet. He's nine-under for his last 19 holes and seven-under overall.

That's good for T12, which is the cut-off for earning an invite to next year's Masters. He'll make it anyway but it remains a significant target.

Meanwhile, here's the weather as we get within half an hour of the final group.

1350: Big shot coming for Hovland at 15, after a perfect drive. He has a great angle and 224 yards to cover yet, as we know with this wonderful par-five, just about all scores from three (two? No, three...) to 10 are still on the table.

1348: Yesterday I mentioned Wright Thompson and a Tiger Woods video he'd narrated, without actually including it.

So, here is one of the greatest living sportswriters turning his hand to oratory. I love him so much.

1345: Much still to do, but we're seeing why Hovland is so highly-rated here. He's played the first five holes virtually impeccably, failing to birdie 13 the only gripe.

At 14, he makes up for that in some style by firing an approach to five feet. Birdie, and he's three-under, for now in full command of the battle to be top amateur.

And don't give up on top Scandinavian, either. He's one behind Bjerregaard and while three off Olesen, the latter has had to chip out sideways at the first.

1342: Birdie-birdie start for Spieth to get to six-under. Remember last year? He shot 64 to finish third and it would've been 63 for second but for a short miss on 18.

If he shoots 63 today, he'll finish 13-under. Not a bad start on that nearly-impossible-but-actually-possible quest.

1340: Bogey at the first for Mickelson, where Spieth makes birdie. It's an opening par for Day and at six-under, he's on the very limits of potential winners, I think - and even that may require a course record 63 which would get him to -15.

Still, hugely up against it and likely lost his chance yesterday.

Meanwhile, at the first: JT drives it 300 down the middle, hits a wedge to six feet, and misses. Amazingly he left himself nine feet for par... and made that.

1337: And for you post-modernists, some interesting data themes from 15th Club.

Absolutely clear that Thomas was a solid putting week away from being right up there with this final group. His GIR rankings at Augusta since debut read 11-6-2 and if he hits 17 or so today he could add a 1 to that.

He's not just hitting greens - hit making chances. Just hasn't taken them. Shame.

1334: Shall we stat? Yes, let's stat.

GIR

  • 1st Olesen
  • 2nd Tiger, Scott
  • 4th Thomas (again)
  • 5th Kuchar, Poulter

Birdies

  • 1st Schauffele
  • 2nd Woods, Harding, Maysuyama, Koepka, DeChambeau
  • 7th Kim, Bradley, Oosthuizen

Putting average

  • 1st Harding
  • 2nd Molinari
  • 3rd Kizzire
  • 4th Fowler, Mickelson, Finau, Cantlay

1330: Weather is very calm, warm enough, no sign of rain or any storms for now - they're expected at around 3pm local time, well after they're now scheduled to finish.

Last night, Paul McGinley said that Francesco likes "football and pasta" which, while almost certainly true, doesn't feel like a comment which adds to coverage. And while far superior to that nonsense, I'm not sure I added to coverage yesterday.

However, a mighty six-hour sleep and an incident-free spin at soft play means that gets corrected this afternoon. As one of my kinder twitter followers said, Bring It On.

Gomez - Bring It On

1325: Got myself locked out of the office. Safely back on board now. Good news in the top amateur battle - Kanaya has dropped two shots in three holes. Hovland has missed some chances but has stayed still which could well be enough.

1315: Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, we must all agree, was a seminal work of art. It certainly felt that way to an impressionable teen like me, though I managed to avoid a life of high-stakes poker (just), crime (with greater ease) and Sting.

It brings me to a nice quote with which to begin this journey together. I'm off to put the kettle on.

"The entire British empire was built on cups of tea, and if you think I'm going to war without one, mate, you're mistaken."

1312: Game of Thrones returns for its final series tonight. Those old fuddy-duddies at Augusta have reacted with some #content.

And those sharps @GameOfThrones have responded appropriately...

1310: There is a case to be made that everyone here is in the ideal position.

There can be few more comfortable leading than Molinari, given what he's done over the last 18 months. True, his win at the Open came from just off the pace and so too did victory at Bay Hill this year, but his run began when he bossed Rory at Wentworth. He relishes this, nowadays.

Tiger, famously, has never won a major from behind entering the final round. That said, only three times has he ever started it second - basically, if he was on, he was in front. And being second, in 2019, brings its advantages. Were he leading, victory would be expected. Today he's predator.

As for Finau, nobody is really talking about him - and that has to suit someone for whom winning has been difficult. He was a little unlucky not to win the WGC-HSBC in November but, basically, hasn't shown the ruthlessness of the two he tees off with.

Then there's Koepka. Clearly, he'd like to be leading, but that eagle on 15 yesterday got him into the penultimate group and he will love the idea of making noise with Tiger and co waiting in the fairway. He'll also enjoy bossing Simpson and Poulter off the tee - though their pace of play could be a slight issue.

1300: In the immortal words of Jean Valjean, one day more; another day, another destiny.

It is Masters Sunday, tee-times have been brought forward, and we're less than 90 minutes from the final three-ball.

Francesco Molinari. The diminutive man from Turin, for a decade unwilling to enter the limelight, now unwilling to relinquish it. He's made one bogey all week - no Masters winner before him has made fewer than five. He bids to follow Seve as the last European to be able to hold a Claret Jug and wear a Green Jacket at once.

Tony Finau. Yet to so much as win a world-class golf tournament, but consistently in the mix in major championships. One of three to fire a Saturday 64 and with it book a place in the final group, alongside the man who, in 1997, convinced him to pursue a future in golf.

And then there's Tiger Woods. Twenty-two years from his first Masters, he seeks his fifth. Eleven years from his 14th major, he seeks his 15th. Yet never has he won a major from behind. Surely, to win today would be to complete the greatest triumph in a year full of them.

So long as the weather holds, this is going to be absolutely unreal.

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