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In the field

Monday, April 11, 2011

STILL CURSED: The Par-3 Contest jinx is alive and well at the Masters Tournament.

Luke Donald did his best to win both in the same year, shooting 69 on Sunday to finish tied for fourth.

A double bogey on the par-3 12th proved costly for Donald, who won the warm-up event Wednesday.

On the 18th, Donald had an awkward stance on his shot from the fairway bunker, but his second shot hit the flag stick and wound up off the green. Donald chipped it in for birdie to finish at 10-under.

"When I made that chip, I gained a little bit of revenge," he said.

WOODLAND WANTED MORE: As was the story for much of the week at Augusta National Golf Club, Gary Woodland couldn't quite get on a roll. That made his 2-under-par 70 on Sunday feel a little hollow.

"I felt like I had a chance to play really well," said Woodland, who finished 12 shots behind winner Charl Schwartzel . "I felt like I was really close. I didn't play great, but I played solid. All I needed was a great one to get back in this thing."

Woodland finally made par on the 12th, a hole that had been a serious nemesis the previous two days, producing scores of bogeys and double bogeys. He also finally hit the green on the par-3 fourth, nearly acing the hole with a 5-iron before making a tricky downhill slider for birdie.

He had only two bogeys all day -- one on the par-5 second hole when his drive found a hazard on the left and forced him to take a drop, and the other on No. 11 after a poor chip.

Yet despite making four birdies, including three over four holes on the back nine, Woodland couldn't quite capitalize on some golden chances and generate a hot streak.

"I thought I was playing well enough to go low, and I just never did," he said. "And that's the frustrating part about the whole deal. I just never gave myself enough opportunities to make birdies, and when I did, I didn't capitalize."

STRONG FINISH: After four birdies in a row on the back nine Sunday, Kyung-Tae Kim is ready to build on that success the rest of the year.

After rounds of 75 on Friday and 78 on Saturday, the Korean shot 68 on Sunday -- his best round in his first Masters -- to finish at 3-over.

"I had the best score for the year," Kim said. "I played like three or four tournaments already, and like (Saturday) I didn't play very well, but (Sunday) I felt more confident that I can go through all the year."

After making the turn at 1-under for the round Sunday, Kim started a string of four consecutive birdies with a short putt at No. 12. He hit a 27-foot birdie on No. 13 and just missed an eagle on No 15.

Kim, who made it into weekend play on the 1-over cut line, bogeyed his last hole to post 33 on the back nine.

Though he averaged only 272.5 yards per drive Sunday to tie for last in the field on the day, Kim finished in the top 10 in fairways hit (11 of 14) and greens in regulation (14 of 18).

Kim's shorter drives came after he realized longer ones cost him.

"I tried it before to make more distance, but I lost accuracy," he said. "It's good to hit it farther, but I don't think I'm going to try anymore because I think accuracy is more like important thing than like hitting longer."

LAUGHING IT OFF: After hitting the pin at No. 6 to just miss a hole-in-one, then missing a short putt for birdie before three-putting No. 7, Justin Rose needed a laugh.

"Me and my caddie, we were just laughing going up 8. He said, 'I want you to hit every green and just two-putt. I want as many putts as possible.' You know, so it was kind of weird," Rose said.

Rose went 1-over on those two holes but otherwise had a strong day as he closed with 4-under 68 to finish at 5-under and tie for 11th.

He said laughing off those holes helped him relax, and Rose finished strong by making four birdies on the final 11 holes.

"It still makes me believe that I can win this championship," said Rose, who is going to take two weeks off. "I feel good around this golf course. I feel like I hit a lot of quality iron shots. I gave myself a lot of chances this week. I hit a lot of greens. I feel like it suits me."

Brent Maycock and Lance Lahnert contributed to this article.

REPORTER BARRED: Tara Sullivan, of the Bergen County (N.J.) Record, was barred from the Augusta National players locker room by a security guard Sunday when she tried to join male reporters to interview Rory McIlroy after the final round.

Women have been allowed in the locker room the week of the tournament since 1985. Augusta National communications director Steve Ethun said the incident was a misunderstanding and the guard was mistaken in keeping her out of the locker room. Ethun apologized to Sullivan.

Bob Harig , the president of the Golf Writers Association of America, said the issue would be addressed with Augusta National officials.

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