- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 12, 2009

AUGUSTA, GA. (AP) - Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods brought back the roars on a Sunday at Augusta National.

With a supercharged duel for the ages, the world’s two greatest players went swing-for-swing trying to chase down Kenny Perry at the Masters.

Perry was an intriguing story himself _ trying to win his first major at age 48 and, in the process, become the oldest major champion in golf history.

But everyone took a backseat to the pairing that teed off an hour before the final group. Woods and Mickelson are the world’s first- and second-ranked players, and their frosty relationship only added to the drama of them being paired together in the final round of a major for only the third time.

Playing before a gallery that was 10-deep in spots, Woods and Mickelson sure lived up to the billing, sending cheers _ and a few groans _ cascading through the Georgia pines.

Lefty tied a Masters record with a 6-under 30 on the front side, but he had two major blunders on the back side. His tee shot at No. 12 rolled back into Rae’s Creek, leading to a double bogey, and he missed a 4-footer for eagle at the 15th, squandering a chance to pull into a tie for the lead.

Woods started rolling with a 30-foot eagle at No. 8, and he pulled even with Mickelson with a birdie at the tricky 16th. They went to the final two holes trailing Perry by only one stroke.

But the steady Kentuckian, who started his round with 11 straight pars, got the best of the hole that bedeviled Mickelson, the one known as “Golden Bell.” Perry cleared the peaceful stream and rolled in a birdie at No. 12 to reclaim a two-stroke lead over Mickelson, Woods and Chad Campbell, all at 10-under and playing up ahead.

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