US Masters: Live Report

Arthur MacMillan
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Bubba Watson (R) of the United States hugs his caddie Ted Scott after winning his sudden death playoff

Bubba Watson (R) of the United States hugs his caddie Ted Scott after winning his sudden death playoff on the second playoff hole to win the 2012 Masters Tournament by one stroke at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia

So, the Masters is over for another year and American Bubba Watson has his first major championship after a thrilling day at Augusta. AFP is now closing this Live Report but our regular coverage will continue.

23:45 GMT: "It's a blessing, to go home to my new son with this," says winner Bubba Watson as 2011 Masters winner Charl Schwartzel places the Green Jacket on this year's champion in the famed Butler Cabin.

23:40 GMT: It's been an amazing day at the Masters. South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen leapt into the lead when he scored an albatross at the 2nd hole. But flamboyant American left-hander Bubba Watson came home in fine style down the stretch, with birdies at 13, 14, 15 and 16 forcing a play-off, which he won thanks to an audacious shot out of the trees to only 15-feet at the second play-off hole. Phil Mickelson will rue a triple bogey at the par-3 fourth hole which probably cost him his chance of a fourth Green Jacket -- Phil finished two shots back in a share of 3rd place. Sweden's Peter Hanson, the start of the day leader, never got going due to a stone cold putter but he also managed a share of third and will no doubt learn from the experience.

23:34 GMT: The American winner bursts into tears and is hugged by, among others, Ryder Cup comrade Ricky Fowler. But after a good cry Watson again dons his visor and is looking for the Butler Cabin and his Green Jacket. "He deserves it," says runner-up Louis Oosthuizen.


23:30 GMT: Bubba has two putts to win!

23:28 GMT: A disappointing approach from Oosthuizen is pounced on by Watson who hits an amazing hooked wedge shot out of the trees to less than 15 feet. From the jaws of defeat the American can now clinch victory.

23:24 GMT: It's in the lap of the gods as both players hit wild drives on the 10th hole. Fatigue as well as pressure are probably playing their part now. But it's Oosthuizen who is in better shape.

23:17 GMT: Watson misses and it's on to the 10th for a second play-off hole. Oosthuizen breathes a huge sigh of relief but having missed two chances to win has Bubba, at age 33 and looking for his first major, blown his chance?

23:16 GMT: Oosthuizen's putt slides past

23:12 GMT: Two great approach shots will leave Oosthuizen putting first but Bubba is closer to the pin. We might have a winner within minutes.

23:07 GMT: Watson nails his drive dead center in the middle of the 18th fairway. Oosthuizen hits it up the left and is also in good shape.


22:58 GMT: -10 OOSTHUIZEN, WATSON, -8 WESTWOOD, KUCHAR, MICKELSON, HANSON. Phil had his chances but it's not to be this year as he finishes par-par and at eight under. Hanson birdies the last for a four-way tie in third. The Swede just never got going today. Big smiles and hugs for Phil from the family.

22:50 GMT: -10 OOSTHUIZEN, WATSON, -8 WESTWOOD, KUCHAR, MICKELSON, -7 HANSON. It's a play-off as Bubba Watson and Louis Oosthuizen finish the tournament on 10 under par. Get ready for more golf.

22:43 GMT: 10 OOSTHUIZEN, WATSON, -8 WESTWOOD, KUCHAR, MICKELSON, -7 HANSON, -5 POULTER. Oosthuizen leaves the door open for Bubba by landing his approach to the 18th too long and the American hits his short iron pin-high. Advantage Bubba now.

22:38 GMT: -10 OOSTHUIZEN, WATSON, -8 WESTWOOD, KUCHAR, MICKELSON, -7 HANSON, -5 POULTER. Another save from Oosthuizen. "Just doesn't look fussed does he?" Faldo says of the steely calm South African leader. Bubba also pars 17 to stay tied at the top. Harrington double bogeys the last and he's a goner, finishing at four under after 72 holes.

22:33 GMT: -10 OOSTHUIZEN, WATSON, -8 WESTWOOD, KUCHAR, MICKELSON, -7 HANSON, -6 HARRINGTON, -5 POULTER. Phil's disappointing tee shot at 16 leaves him a horrible putt and he's not going to advance here. Oosthuizen hits another cool recovery from sand at 17. It looks like a shootout between him and Bubba now.

22:29 GMT: -10 OOSTHUIZEN, WATSON, -8 WESTWOOD, KUCHAR, MICKELSON, -7 HANSON, -6 HARRINGTON, -5 POULTER. "I left a couple of shots out there on the golf course and you can't afford to do that. I played nicely but I am walking away slightly disappointed," says Ian Poulter after his five under finish.

22:26 GMT: -10 OOSTHUIZEN, WATSON, -8 KUCHAR, WESTWOOD, MICKELSON, -7 HANSON, -6 HARRINGTON, -5 POULTER. The leaders hit poor drives on 17 and Mickelson birdies 15 as does Hanson. It's Phil's last chance.

22:20 GMT: -10 OOSTHUIZEN, WATSON, -8 KUCHAR, WESTWOOD, -7 MICKELSON, -6 HANSON, HARRINGTON, -5 POULTER. Bubba birdies 16 and it's a tie heading into the 17th. Kuchar bogeys 16 and Poulter bogeys 18.

22:12 GMT: -10 OOSTHUIZEN, -9 KUCHAR, WATSON, -8 WESTWOOD, -7 MICKELSON, -6 HANSON, HARRINGTON. Oosthuizen looks a picture of concentration as he nudges a chip to about 10 feet at the 15th and holes the putt for birdie and the outright lead. A nervous Bubba misses the eagle chance but it's a birdie and he's only one behind. Westwood birdies 18 to take the clubhouse lead at eight under.

22:05 GMT: -9 KUCHAR, OOSTHUIZEN, -8 WATSON, -7 WESTWOOD, MICKELSON, -6 HANSON, POULTER, HARRINGTON. Kuchar eagles 15 to tie the lead but Bubba is on a charge behind and has an eagle chance at the same hole -- if he holes it he'll be in the lead.

22:00 GMT: -9 OOSTHUIZEN, -8 WATSON, -7 WESTWOOD, KUCHAR, MICKELSON, -6 HANSON, POULTER, HARRINGTON. "This is a horse race now," says David Feherty on CBS. Watson is on a roll. He lashes his drive down the 15th, as does Oosthuizen. Westwood misses a birdie chance at 17 and having missed a similar opportunity at 16 his shot at the title has probably passed.

21:58 GMT: -9 OOSTHUIZEN, -8 WATSON, -7 WESTWOOD, KUCHAR, MICKELSON, -6 HANSON, POULTER, HARRINGTON. Bubba Watson with back-to-back birdies at 13 and 14 is up into second place. Oosthuizen makes a great save to stay nine under.

21:54 GMT: -9 OOSTHUIZEN, -7 WESTWOOD, KUCHAR, MICKELSON, -6 HANSON, POULTER, WATSON, HARRINGTON. Oosthuizen is facing a tough putt for par at 14 but Kuchar hits it to a few feet at 15 and an eagle could push him into the lead.

21:46 GMT: -9 OOSTHUIZEN, -7 WESTWOOD, KUCHAR, MICKELSON, -6 HANSON, POULTER, WATSON, HARRINGTON. Oosthuizen and Harrington make birdies at 13 and 15 respectively. The South African has now restored his two-shot lead. And Phil narrowly misses eagle at 13 but is now at seven under.

21:36 GMT: -8 OOSTHUIZEN, -7 WESTWOOD, KUCHAR, -6 HANSON, POULTER, WATSON, MICKELSON, -5 HARRINGTON. Hanson escapes with a bogey at the 12th after shanking his drive like a club amateur. He must be feeling the shakes after that! Kuchar gets back to seven under with a birdie at 13 while Poulter holes a great 15-footer at 16 to save par. Westwood hits it to 20 feet at 16. The Englishman has another chance to tie Oosthuizen's lead.

21:32 GMT: -8 OOSTHUIZEN, -7 WESTWOOD, HANSON, -6 POULTER, WATSON, MICKELSON, KUCHAR, -5 HARRINGTON. Westwood's eagle effort somehow stays out but it's birdie and he's up to seven and a share of second. Augusta's closing par fives at 13 and 15 are starting to shake-up the pack.

21:25 GMT: -8 OOSTHUIZEN, -7 HANSON, -6 POULTER, WATSON, MICKELSON, KUCHAR, WESTWOOD, -5 HARRINGTON. Poulter makes birdie at the 15th and is now just two back. Watson bogeys the 12th. Mickelson hits a 9-iron onto 12. But it's Westwood, with an eagle chance at 15 - if he makes it he will tie the lead.

21:22 GMT: -8 OOSTHUIZEN, -7 HANSON, WATSON, -6 MICKELSON, KUCHAR, WESTWOOD, -5 HARRINGTON, POULTER. It's tight at the top. What chances a play-off?

21:16 GMT: -8 OOSTHUIZEN, -7 HANSON, WATSON, -6 MICKELSON, KUCHAR, WESTWOOD, -5 HARRINGTON, POULTER. Kuchar makes the birdie and is now two behind Oosthuizen. Westwood birdies 14 and joins Mickelson, who almost ends up in the water at 11 though his approach clings on. Hanson takes his time but lands safely on the middle of the green.

21:12 GMT: -8 OOSTHUIZEN, -7 HANSON, WATSON, -6 MICKELSON, -5 KUCHAR , HARRINGTON, POULTER, WESTWOOD. Mickelson and Hanson are the only players in the top-18 on the leaderboard who are over par today. Kuchar, aiming to surge, hits it to 15-feet at the 12th. Hanson and Mickelson nail solid drives at the tricky 11th. And Westwood birdies 13 to get back to five under.

21:05 GMT: -8 OOSTHUIZEN, -7 HANSON, WATSON, -6 MICKELSON, -5 KUCHAR , HARRINGTON, POULTER. No-one is holing any putts!! Mickelson leaves it short at the 10th and Harrington pulls another makeable effort wide at the 12th.

21:02 GMT: -8 OOSTHUIZEN, -7 HANSON, WATSON, -6 MICKELSON, -5 KUCHAR , HARRINGTON, POULTER. Brilliant approach from Phil at the 10th sets up a birdie chance. Having stayed in touch after his triple at the 4th, Mickelson will now aim to make his experience count on the back stretch.

20:58 GMT: -8 OOSTHUIZEN, -7 HANSON, WATSON, -6 MICKELSON, -5 KUCHAR , HARRINGTON, POULTER. South African Oosthuizen's lead is down to one as he fails to save par at the 10th. Six players are now three shots or less off the pace.

20:54 GMT: -9 OOSTHUIZEN, -7 HANSON, WATSON, -6 MICKELSON, -5 KUCHAR , HARRINGTON, POULTER. We've hit the turn with Hanson and Mickelson both out in 38 - two over for the day. Both players blasts huge tee-shots down the 10th. Hanson has struggled but he's still only two shots off the lead. Harrington misses his putt at the 11th and stays five under.

20:50 GMT: -9 OOSTHUIZEN, -7 HANSON, WATSON, -6 MICKELSON, -5 KUCHAR , HARRINGTON, POULTER. Fine approach into 13 from Ian Poulter and he's got a 30-footer for birdie, which he'd have settled for moments after he hit his drive into the trees. Harrington flirts with the water at the 11th but he's now got just a few feet for birdie. Mickelson grinds out a great par at 9.

20:45 GMT: -9 OOSTHUIZEN, -7 HANSON, WATSON, -6 MICKELSON, -5 KUCHAR , HARRINGTON, POULTER. No-one has made a move since Oosthuizen jumped into the lead but we're about to enter the back nine and something's gotta give - it always does at Augusta.

20:39 GMT: -9 OOSTHUIZEN, -7 HANSON, WATSON, -6 MICKELSON, -5 KUCHAR , HARRINGTON, POULTER. Phil stops the rot with a birdie, but only just as his short putt drops in the back door. Hanson's birdie chance slips by -- he's missing everything left. "There's tension in his shoulders," says Faldo on CBS. Kuchar slips back to five under with a double bogey at the 9th.

20:32 GMT: -9 OOSTHUIZEN, -7 HANSON, WATSON, KUCHAR, -5 HARRINGTON, MICKELSON, WESTWOOD, POULTER. Mickelson blasts a driver off the deck to almost reach the 8th in two. He's still looking for his first birdie of the day.

20:24 GMT: -9 OOSTHUIZEN, -7 HANSON, WATSON, KUCHAR, -5 HARRINGTON, MICKELSON, WESTWOOD, POULTER. Padraig Harrington slips back after a bogey at the 9th and Matt Kuchar is in trouble at the 9th after a wayward approach. Bubba Watson misses another close range birdie chance at the 8th.

20:20 GMT: -9 OOSTHUIZEN, -7 HANSON, WATSON, KUCHAR, -6 HARRINGTON, -5 MICKELSON, WESTWOOD, POULTER. Mickelson and Hanson both miss good birdie chances at the 7th. Hanson couldn't buy a putt at the moment.

20:17 GMT: -9 OOSTHUIZEN, -7 HANSON, WATSON, KUCHAR, -6 HARRINGTON, -5 MICKELSON, WESTWOOD, POULTER. Kuchar misses a great chance from seven feet at the 8th.

20:09 GMT: -9 OOSTHUIZEN, -7 HANSON, WATSON, KUCHAR, -6 HARRINGTON, -5 MICKELSON, WESTWOOD, POULTER. CBS is savoring images of Oosthuizen's albatross at the 2nd. He holed a 4-iron from 254 yards and it has thrown him into the Masters lead.

20:05 GMT: -9 OOSTHUIZEN, -7 HANSON, WATSON, KUCHAR, -6 HARRINGTON, -5 MICKELSON, WESTWOOD, POULTER. The leader hits a great approach but misses his birdie effort at the 7th. A great pitch shot recovery from Watson sees him save par.

19:59 GMT: -9 OOSTHUIZEN, -7 HANSON, WATSON, KUCHAR, -6 HARRINGTON, -5 MICKELSON, WESTWOOD, POULTER. Kuchar birdies the 7th and he's into a share of second place. Poulter birdies the 9th and he's now in a share of sixth place.

19:54 GMT: -9 OOSTHUIZEN, -7 HANSON, WATSON, -6 HARRINGTON, KUCHAR, -5 MICKELSON, WESTWOOD. Oosthuizen nails a long putt at the sixth to save par and stay nine under. Hanson fails to convert that birdie chance. He's looking tentative with the putter.

19:52 GMT: -9 OOSTHUIZEN, -7 HANSON, WATSON, -6 HARRINGTON, KUCHAR. Ireland's Harrington is peppering the pins but he misses a six-footer for birdie at the 7th hole. Hanson has a good birdie opportunity as he hits his approach close at the fifth.

19:45 GMT: -9 OOSTHUIZEN, -7 HANSON, WATSON, -6 HARRINGTON, KUCHAR. Mickelson gets up and down from the bunker but it's a triple-bogey six and he's now four off the pace. Bubba's birdie at the fifth sends him into a tie for second. And Ireland's Harrington is now in the mix

19:39 GMT: -9 OOSTHUIZEN, -8 MICKELSON, -7 HANSON, -6 WATSON, HARRINGTON, KUCHAR. Phil Mickelson is in big trouble at the 4th. Having scuffed his first back-handed chip into undergrowth, his second attempt to recover lands on a walking path. He then fluffs his next shot into a bunker. That's four shots on a par three and he's not yet on the green.

19:35 GMT: Australia's Scott follows up on his hole-in-one with a chip-in birdie at the 17th. He's now four under for the tournament.


19:29 GMT: -9 OOSTHUIZEN, -8 MICKELSON, -7 HANSON, -6 WATSON, KUCHAR. Solid drive from the leader at the fifth but Mickelson is in trouble after a wild approach to the par 3 fourth. Hanson finds the middle of the green.

19:25 GMT: -9 OOSTHUIZEN, -8 MICKELSON, -7 HANSON, -6 WATSON, KUCHAR. The gap is down to one as the leader fails to save his par at the fourth hole.

19:18 GMT: -10 OOSTHUIZEN, -8 MICKELSON, -7 HANSON, -6 WATSON, KUCHAR Hanson is in trouble at the third. After landing in sand off the tee, his pitch passes the flag and he misses a 20-footer for par. Two bogeys in his opening three holes for the Swede. But Oosthuizen is struggling to save par at the 4th.

19:15 GMT: A good start from England's Ian Poulter as birdies at three and six take him to four under for the tournament.

19:10 GMT: LEADERBOARD: -10 OOSTHUIZEN, -8 HANSON, MICKELSON, -6 WATSON, KUCHAR. A great cluch putt by Oosthuizen at the third hole keeps him at 10 under. Mickelson and Hanson both par the 2nd. Matt Kuchar birdies the third to climb into a share of fourth place with Bubba Watson.

19:08 GMT: The wonder of Oosthuizen's albatross is reverberating around the course. AFP's Allan Kelly recounts the huge roar that went up in the press center when the South African's 260-yard second shot rolled into the cup.


18:55 GMT Louis Oosthuizen's amazing albatross at the par five 2nd hole takes him to 10 under and the top of the leaderboard. The South African now leads by two from Mickelson, who parred the first, and Hanson, who bogeyed the opener.


18:49 GMT: The Masters pressure is on for Hanson as he clatters his chip across the first green and off the other side. Mickelson tentatively leaves his putt short. Work to do for both players.

18:44 GMT: A twitchy approach shot sees Hanson go right at the first. Phil safely knocks his seven-iron on to around 35 feet.

18:40 GMT: A great swing sees Hanson hit the fairway at the first. A huge roar greets Mickelson at the tee. He bombs it down the right hand side. The final pair are now in play.

18:32 GMT: A birdie for Westwood at the second gets him back to four under. Ian Poulter birdies the third to go three under.

18:28 GMT: A sweet start from America's Sean O'Hair, whose birdies at the second and third take him to four-under for the tournament, five back from Sweden's still to start leader Peter Hanson.

18:26 GMT: A poor start for England's Lee Westwood. He bogeys the first, hardly what he was looking for as he seeks that elusive first major win.

18:23 GMT: Mickelson is now on the practice putting green. He has finished in the top 10 at the Masters 13 times. He loves Augusta.

18:21 GMT: The misery returns for Tiger as he dumps his approach to the 13th into the creek. The look on his face says it all; he's gutted.

18:14 GMT: Three-time Masters champion turned TV commentator Nick Faldo says Hanson will be "very nervous," as he lacks experience at the top of a major leaderboard on the last day. "I feel Phil, he's the man," says Faldo, picking his winner.

18:10 GMT: Europe Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal tells the BBC Mickelson is favored to win a fourth green jacket."Phil likes this place, he loves this place and he knows when to attack. But you never know in this sport."

18:06 GMT. A touch of class from Tiger at the 12th as he rolls in a 40-footer for birdie.

18:00 GMT: No fashion fireworks from England's Ian Poulter today, a study in gray-checked trousers. "But he has a bizarre pair of yellow shoes that makes it looks like he's walking with two bananas attached to his feet," says AFP's Allan Kelly at Augusta..

17:58 GMT: Yep, Tiger rolls it in and sets off for the tricky par three 12th.

17:54 GMT: Tiger Woods in wearing red which probably matches his mood at the 11th hole as he's two-over for the day. The former world number one nips his pitch handily to six feet, but will he hole the putt to save par?

17:47 GMT: Bo Van Pelt birdies the 18th for what must be the round of his career -- an eight-under par 64 at the Masters!!

17:43 GMT: LEADERBOARD: -9 HANSON, -8 MICKELSON, -7 OOSTHUIZEN, -6 WATSON, -5 KUCHAR. Less than an hour before the leaders tee off and it's starting to feel like Masters Sunday!!

17:31 GMT: Fred Couples is in action. He looks relaxed, is joking with his caddie and high-fiveing cameramen, and there are a few "Go, Freddies", but the feeling is that his 75 on Saturday when co-leading may have taken the wind out of his sails, says AFP's Allan Kelly.

17:24 GMT The day just gets better and better for Bo Van Pelt of the US. His hole-in-one at 16 takes him to seven-under for the day and level par for the tournament.


17:14 GMT: A gem from the course. Tournament leader Peter Hanson has the number 17 stamped on his ball. "Reason is that his son Tim was born on November 17, 2010 at 5:17 pm - 1717 on the 24-hour clock," says AFP's Allan Kelly at Augusta. "He says it makes him feel happy just seeing that as he prepares to play his shots.."

17:08 GMT: After his good start, former world number one Martin Kaymer has been undone at the turn and is sliding back down the field after bogeys at the 9th, 11th and 12th holes. The German is now seven-over for the tournament.

17:00 GMT: Four players are three under for the day -- Americans Stewart Cink and Keegan Bradley, English world number one Luke Donald and Denmark's Thomas Bjorn, who are all well into the back nine now.

16:56 GMT: Of the backmarkers, America's Bo Van Pelt is the pick at five under for the day after an eagle at the par five 13th hole and a birdie at the usually difficult par four 14th.

16:49 GMT: Sergio Garcia smacks it down the right-hand side of the first fairway and is in good shape. He walks after his ball nonchalantly, head down for the most part. The once bouncy, chirpy Spaniard has been down in the dumps all week for some reason. "Needs to get some of that spark back if he is ever to win a major. He is 32 now and no longer the new kid on the block," says AFP's Allan Kelly.

16:42 GMT: A quick reminder of the leaderboard: -9 HANSON, -8 MICKELSON, -7 OOSTHUIZEN, -6 WATSON, -5 KUCHAR

16:36 GMT. AFP's Jim Slater notes that with Sunday's bogey McIlroy has played the first hole in five-over par this week, with double bogeys on Thursday and Saturday sandwiched around a par on Friday. The first is the course's toughest hole to date, having induced 88 bogeys, 11 doubles and three even worse scores.

16:28 GMT: Bogeys for McIlroy and McDowell at the first. Rory's Augusta meltdown started a day early this year with Saturday's woes but McDowell bounces back with a birdie at the second.

16:15 GMT: Hot start from 2007 Masters champ Zach Johnson. He birdies the second and the fourth and is now one over.

16:09 GMT: Graeme McDowell's drive almost clobbers our correspondent. "Lands two feet from me with a soft plop in the pine trees," says Allan. Clad in Irish green the 2010 US Open champion ponders his options, scratches his chin, wisely takes his caddie's advice and punches out a Ballesteros-like rescue shot threading it through the trees back onto the fairway.

16:03 GMT: High noon at Augusta National and McIlroy -- where did that 77 come from yesterday? -- flirts with the bunker at the first but he is safe and in prime position to attack the flag. "Rory is in red. Or is it pink? Pinky-red I suppose," says Allan Kelly.

16:00 GMT: Birdie for Tiger at the 2nd!!! He's now two over for the tournament -- but 11 off the pace.

15:56 GMT: Not long until Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy tees it up. He's playing with Ryder Cup partner, countryman and pal Graeme McDowell. "Winning is beyond them but they will be looking to shoot the lights out in their final rounds no doubt," remarks AFP's Allan Kelly.

15:50 GMT: It's a hot start from Rickie Fowler, who birdies the second and third to be only two over through the first five holes.

15:42 GMT: It's par at the first for Tiger. Fiji's Singh matches him. Luke Donald though has picked up another shot at the eighth.

15:38 GMT: Tiger, in his customary final day red shirt, blasts off -- a big drive finds the right side of the fairway, says AFP's Allan Kelly, noting the massed crowd -- two or three deep on both sides of the first hole. "Wouldn't it be great if he goes birdie, birdie to get the place rocking," one fan remarks. Tiger looks businesslike, but chats with playing partner Vijay Singh.

15:35 GMT: Augusta members in their Green Jackets are watching the early groups tee off. Others started the day scurrying -- running is not allowed on the course -- for a good spot to watch the action unfold.

15:32 GMT: As well as being the first golfing major of the year the Masters is seen by many as the most beautiful. An unseasonably warm winter, however, has seen the flowers at Augusta lose their blooms this year, says AFP's Jim Slater.

15:25 GMT: There's some early southern comfort for English world number one Luke Donald -- he picks up birdies at the second and seventh holes to pull back to five-over for the week.

15:14 GMT: Former champion Angel Cabrera birdies the first -- he's at three over par.

15:10 GMT: Germany's Martin Kaymer makes a good start. Birdies at the second and third pull him back to four over par through four holes.

15:05 GMT: Not long now till Tiger Woods starts his final round. He's three over par through the first 54 holes and will be looking for something special on the last day after a frustrating week so far.

14:58 GMT: American wonderboy Rickie Fowler blasts a huge drive up the top of the rise on the first hole. AFP's Allan Kelly spots Fowler easily in his usual blazing orange outfit, black hat with orange trim and black shoes. "About time though he made the move from fashion icon to tournament winner -- he is stuck at zero for that," says Allan.

14:52 GMT: Stewart Cink is one of the few players who has made a positive start on Sunday, with birdies at the fifth and seventh holes taking up back to +9.

14:45 GMT: Ireland's Padraig Harrington is having a great week. He birdied five of the last six holes on Saturday and starts the final round at four-under -- five behind leader Hanson. "You could say I'm the man in form," quipped the three-time major winning Irishman, whose form has been erratic in recent years, afterwards.

14:35 GMT: It's a rotten start for US Amateur champ Kraft -- he's four over for the day through six holes -- +14 for the tournament. Japan's Hideki Matsuyama is on pace to pick up his second consecutive Masters Silver Cup for leading amateur. He's one-over par after the third round.

14:30 GMT: Augusta is known for the drama of the Sunday's back nine. When the heat is on it will come down to who holes out best - through 54 holes Mickelson has taken just 77 putts on the greens. Hanson (79) is second with the putter.

14:25 GMT: As well as being closing day, Masters Sunday this year is Easter Sunday. The last winner at Augusta on Easter Sunday was Argentina's Angel Cabrera in 2009.

14:20 GMT: AFP's Allan Kelly tells us that reigning Masters champ Charl Schwartzel is heading for the first tee. The South African looked lively in the opening two rounds but playing with Tiger Woods on Saturday he dropped out of contention with a 75.

14:18 GMT: All holes at Augusta National are named after flowers. The front nine includes Tea Olive, Pink Dogwood, Flowering Peach, Yellow Jasmine and Carolina Cherry. The back nine boasts Camelia, Golden Bell, Azalea and Chinese Fir.

14:12 GMT: World number one Luke Donald of England is up and running in the final round of a disappointing Masters. "I've not been good enough," he admitted after a third round 75 left him among the also-rans.

14:08 GMT: US sports network ESPN showing last night's interview with Mickelson: "To have made a run on the back nine to put me in the final group is awesome," he says. Big Phil wants his fourth Masters title.

14:01 GMT: It's been a frustrating week for Tiger Woods -- he came into the tournament fresh after his first tour victory in more than two years but his swing has been all over the place at Augusta - - he stands at +3 and will tee off in 90 minutes' time.

13:58 GMT: Of today's starting top 10, six players have yet to win a major - could Peter Hanson, Bubba Watson, Matt Kuchar, Lee Westwood, Henrik Stenson or Hunter Mahan break their duck?

13:53 GMT: AFP's Jim Slater at Augusta notes that the best final-round comeback to win was Jack Burke - eight strokes in 1956.

13:48 GMT: Just under five hours until Hanson and Mickelson are due at the first tee. Both finished strongly yesterday -- Mickelson's closing nine of 30 was just one shot off the Masters record.

13:42 GMT: A disappointing bogey start at the first for US Amateur champ Kelly Kraft. Cink makes par.

13:40 GMT: The second biggest weekend Masters field in history has players from six countries -- Sweden, USA, South Africa, Ireland, England and Scotland -- in the top 10 after 54 holes.

13:28 GMT: Kelly Kraft clatters his drive 300 yards down the left side of the first fairway. Stewart Cink, the 2009 British Open champ, heads down theright side. We're off and running...

13:26 GMT All eyes are on Hanson today - no Swede has ever won a major championship!!! But Mickelson is a three-time Masters champion. He's been in this position before.


13:20 GMT: Blue skies and sunshine - perfect conditions greet first men Kelly Kraft and Stewart Cink at Augusta National.

WELCOME TO AFP'S LIVE REPORT ON THE 2012 US MASTERS. Sweden's Peter Hanson and Phil Mickelson of the United States top the leaderboard, but with a field of major winners just a few shots back the tournament is likely to throw up at least a few surprises.