Tiger bid fades in Augusta rain
Tiger Woods' bid to create history and win a fifth Masters title was in danger of turning into a damp squib in the final round at Augusta.
But for once tournament officials might be pleased to see someone else donning the famous Green Jacket.
All 14 of Woods' major titles have come when he led or shared the lead going into the final round, but the world number one found himself four adrift of Brandt Snedeker and Angel Cabrera going into the last 18 holes.
And after playing the front nine in 37 to drop back to two under par, the world number one was seven shots behind leader Cabrera, who held a two-shot lead over Australia's Day.
The final round was being played in intermittent light rain from overcast skies, but got off to a blistering start as two-time winner Bernhard Langer, looking to become golf's oldest major winner, birdied the first three holes.
The 55-year-old's challenge for a third Masters title, 20 years after his second, faded quickly with dropped shots at the sixth and seventh, but by then Day had started birdie-eagle - holing a bunker shot on the par-five second - to take the lead.
Brandt Snedeker made it a three-way tie with a birdie of his own on the first, but when back-to-back bogeys dropped him back, playing partner Cabrera took charge with birdies at the second and seventh.
That Woods was still in the tournament at all was the subject of fierce debate after he took an incorrect drop on the 15th hole during Friday's second round.
Tournament officials were alerted to the incident by a television viewer, but cleared Woods of any wrongdoing and crucially failed to even inform him that there had been concerns.
Woods therefore signed for a 71 before saying in a post-round interview that he had gone "two yards further back" from where he hit his original shot after seeing it clatter into the pin and bounce back into the water. Under rule 26-1a, he was obliged to drop "as nearly as possible" to where his original ball had been played.
That would normally mean a two-shot penalty and disqualification for signing an incorrect scorecard, but under the recently revised rule 33-7 the rules committee waived that sanction and instead applied the penalty on Saturday morning and allowed Woods to continue in the tournament.
If Woods fails to win a 15th major, and first since the 2008 US Open, the controversy will eventually die down, but a victory for the 37-year-old would ensure it remained a divisive issue.
After a par at the first, Woods could be heard shouting "Get f****** lucky" after a poor tee-shot on the par five second, forcing television commentators to apologise for the audible obscenity.
He could only manage a par five there and missed from 12 feet for birdie on the third, while three putts and a greenside bunker cost him shots at the fifth and seventh respectively before a first birdie of the day eventually arrived on the ninth.
Woods was never going to throw in the towel of course and birdied the ninth and 10th to get back to three under par, six behind Cabrera who saved par on the eighth after driving into a fairway bunker and pulling his second shot into the trees.
The 43-year-old Argentinian, with son Angel junior as his caddie, briefly held
a three-shot lead when Day bogeyed the ninth when his delicate pitch failed to climb the slope and rolled back to his feet, but Snedeker then birdied the
eighth to get back within two shots.
Cabrera, whose only two wins on the PGA Tour were in major championships, gave Woods and everyone in the chasing pack hope with his first bogey of the day on the 10th after driving into the trees.
But Snedeker, who was even deeper into the woods, failed to take advantage of a superb escape to the front edge of the green, chipping to three feet but seeing his par putt lip out.
That seemed to rattle the 32-year-old and he promptly three-putted the 11th - leaving his birdie putt woefully short - to drop back to five under and three behind his playing partner.
Woods was now only four adrift after a two-putt birdie on the par-five 13th,
while Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen looked like setting the clubhouse target after reaching the 18th tee at five under for his round and the tournament.
Olesen bogeyed the 18th but still set the clubhouse target on four under, one ahead of first-round joint leader Sergio Garcia, who also dropped a shot on the last in his 70.
That looked like not being enough to win, but Cabrera followed Snedeker into the water in front of the 13th green and ran up a bogey six, leaving Day in the lead courtesy of birdies on the 13th and 14th.
Fellow Australian Adam Scott moved alongside Cabrera on seven under thanks to a stroke of luck on the 13th, his second shot spinning back towards the water but stopping on the downslope - reminiscent of what happened to Fred Couples on the 12th on his way to victory in 1992.
Woods two-putted the 15th for birdie and at five under was only three off the
lead with three holes remaining.
Day briefly led by two when he two-putted from long range on the 15th for
birdie, but Scott did exactly the same moments later and Day then three-putted from over the back of the 16th green.
Cabrera made no such mistake from 20ft short of the pin to birdie and make it a three-way tie, but that only lasted until Day bogeyed the 17th after failing to get up and down from a greenside bunker.
Woods was the clubhouse leader on five under but that was not going to be
enough, that two-shot penalty for an incorrect drop in his second round on
Friday proving costly.