MASTERS WATCH: ‘El Pato’

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AUGUSTA, GA. (AP) - There’s been a steady rain since the leaders teed off at the Masters.

That’s got to be a good sign for the guy nicknamed “The Duck.”

Angel “El Pato” Cabrera has built a two-stroke lead with steady play over the first seven holes _ two birdies, five pars, and a 9-under total. Jason Day is at 7 under, while Adam Scott and Brandt Snedeker are another shot back.

_ Paul Newberry, www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963

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LINDSEY’S EX

While Olympic ski champion Lindsey Vonn is cheering on Tiger Woods again at the Masters, her ex has been on Twitter delivering a shot at the new couple.

Woods was penalized two strokes on Saturday for an improper drop in the second round, hurting his chances to win a fifth green jacket. The problem started when a television viewer called in to question whether Woods had followed the rules.

Thomas Vonn tweeted, “No problem Masters tournament happy to call in and help. You always have to keep an eye on those cheaters.” He added a smiley face to his comment.

Somehow, we get the feeling that neither Tiger nor Lindsey is smiling.

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TIGER TUMBLES

Tiger Woods has never come from behind to win any of his 14 major titles. There’s no sign of a breakthrough at the Masters.

While others are charging up the leaderboard, Woods is plodding along with a shaky putter. He started with four straight pars before a three-putt bogey at the fifth knocked him back to 2 under. He followed with a bogey on No. 7 _ falling a daunting seven strokes off the lead.

Looks like it’s time to start looking ahead to the U.S. Open in June, Woods’ next chance to draw closer to Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major titles.

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ANOTHER 10!

This time No. 12 got Bubba Watson. Last year’s Masters champion put up the second 10 of the day on the hole called Golden Bell. Earlier Sunday, Kevin Na had a 10 on the Par 3, 155-yard picturesque hole that showed how treacherous it can be with Rae’s Creek in the front and three bunkers, one in front and two in the rear, surrounding it.

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EXPERIENCE MATERS

Experience sure matters at Augusta National. Fifty-five-year-old Bernhard Langer is contending at the Masters after starting the final round with three straight birdies. The two-time winner has pushed his score to 5 under, three strokes behind co-leaders Brandt Snedeker and Jason Day.

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G’DAY!

A G’Day so far. Australian Jason Day is off to quite a start at the Masters, surging to a share of the lead on the first two holes. He made a birdie at No. 1 and an eagle at No. 2, where he holed a shot out of the front bunker. Day is now at 8 under and tied with Brandt Snedeker, who also birdied the first hole. Snedeker is playing in the final group with 2009 Masters champion Angel Cabrera.

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LOW SCORES

We’re seeing some low scores among the early finishers, perhaps an indication that the greens aren’t as tough as usual on an overcast day. Michael Thompson shot a 5-under 67, Ryan Moore and Ryo Ishikawa posted 68s, and Keegan Bradley turned in a 69 _ 13 shots better than the day before. Get ready: It could be quite a shootout among the leaders.

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MISERABLE MICKELSON

It was a forgettable Masters for Lefty. Phil Mickelson closed a tough week with 1-over 73 in the final round. That leaves him at 9-over 297 _ his second-worst score in the 20 times he’s made the Masters cut. The only year he went higher was in 2007, when Mickelson shot a 299 in much tougher conditions.

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BACK TO SCHOOL

It’s back to homework for 14-year-old Guan Tianlang. After closing with a 75 for a 12-over total at the Masters, Guan says he’s got some studying to do, including math, science, history and English. As for his first Augusta experience, he says “the whole week was great for me. I really enjoyed it and had fun.”

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