Masters 2013: Closing stretch moves Angel Cabrera into contention

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As many players fought to just stay at par Friday, a former champion was lining the birdies up on a string.

Angel Cabrera, the 2009 Masters Tournament champion, shot 31 on the back nine to finish with 69. At 4-under for the tournament, he is well within reach of the leaders.

From Nos. 13 to 18, Ca­brera carded five birdies, including four in a row, to jump onto the second-round leaderboard.

“The difference was, on the back nine, I was hitting very well off the tee, leaving my second shots close, and I was able to make some birdies, make some good putts,” Cabrera said.

The Argentine hit 15 of 18 greens in regulation, with no 3-putts.

When he did get in trouble – rare as that was on the back nine – Cabrera cleaned up his mistakes. On the par-5 15th, his second shot landed near patrons sitting to the right, but he chipped onto the green and sank a short birdie putt to move to 2-under.

Cabrera made it look easy, not that he said it ever is at Augusta National Golf Club.

“For me, Augusta is never easy. Never. Absolutely never easy,” he said.

After Friday’s torrid finish, Cabrera has played 11 of his past 12 rounds and 15 of his past 18 rounds better than par at the Masters.

Cabrera had to battle the wind to get his back-nine score Friday.

“Certainly, with the wind, it gets tough on this course,” he said. “But I’ve played with wind very much; I’m used to playing with the wind in Europe. I’m not going to say this is an advantage necessarily for me, but I like playing with wind, yeah.

“If it is like this, sunny and windy, it will be perfect. But whatever comes, everybody’s going to play the same (conditions).”

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