Cabrera Both Lucky and Good

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The old adage is that it’s better to be lucky than good. Angel Cabrera was both on Sunday. His second shot from the pine straw on the 72nd hole of regulation struck a tree and careened left, onto the 18th fairway, giving him a shot at getting his ball up and down and forcing a playoff. About an hour earlier Tiger Woods found himself in a similar predicament, only his shot hit a tree and pitched right, onto the adjacent 10th fairway.
 
Cabrera, however, was able to stick his pitch shot to eight feet and make the putt for par, forcing a playoff with Kenny Perry and Chad Campbell that he’d eventually win on the second extra hole. Woods was unable to get his ball up and down. Cabrera converted the putts he had to make, including an 18-footer for birdie on No. 16 which kept him within striking distance of Perry. Despite falling three shots back and seemingly out of contention early on the back nine, he hung in there and stuck around long enough to steal his second major championship. Cabrera was 3-under par over his last six holes, which was better than Perry (Even), Campbell (-2), Woods (-1) and Phil Mickelson (-1).
 
To show you just how unpredictable Augusta National can be, and how luck often plays a big role in winning a green jacket, Phil Mickelson’s tee shot on the par-3 12th on Sunday landed in virtually the same place as Fred Couples’ shot did 17 years earlier. Couples’ ball miraculously stayed up on the bank and he wound up winning his one and only green jacket; Mickelson’s ball trickled down into Rae’s Creek, leading to a double bogey and dealing a major blow to his chances for a third green jacket.