Angel Cabrera, 43, has made the most of his two career wins in 187 starts on the U.S. Tour, carting away prized trophies with his victories in the 2007 U.S. Open and the 2009 Masters.
Sensing another chance to feed his appetite for majors at the Masters, Cabrera went to work on Saturday.
The man nicknamed "El Pato" (The Duck) for his distinctive walk, collected six birdies to offset three bogeys for a 69 that lifted him into a tie with American Brandt Snedeker for the lead at seven under par heading into Sunday's final round.
As the only player among the top six on the leaderboard with a major title to his credit, Cabrera could have an edge in the pressure cooker of Masters Sunday.
"It's definition time,," he told reporters through an interpreter. "Tomorrow it's more about execution and about patience.
"I think it's important that you know where to miss. That's very important. And when you've played so many times or many years this tournament, it really helps just the fact that you know where you can miss a shot," said Cabrera, competing in his 14th Masters.
A ferocious competitor, Cabrera has battled back from a string of injury-riddled seasons and showed his tenacity once again at Augusta National, where he won a three-way playoff for the green jacket four years ago.
Following that victory he had to confront dental problems, needing to have 10 teeth replaced. He suffered from tendinitis in his left wrist in 2010 and had minor surgery in 2011 to repair a small tear in his lower digestive system.
Still, the man from Cordoba grinds relentlessly on.
He began the sunny, breezy day on four under par, but midway through the round had grabbed the lead at the 10th with his fourth birdie of the day.
Cabrera temporarily lost his touch with back-to-back bogeys from the 12th, but got back on track when he birdied the par-three 16th with a six-foot putt and then seized a share of the third-round lead by sinking a 12-foot putt at the last.
With his son, Angel Cabrera Jr., who made his first start on the PGA Tour earlier this year in the Puerto Rico Open, caddying for him this week, the Argentine is set for grand finale.
"In 2009, I was nervous, anxious," he said, recalling his tension-filled victory at Augusta National.
"But now I'm very comfortable. I know what I've got to do tomorrow to be able to get the win."
- Sports & Recreation
- Angel Cabrera