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Whatever happened to last year's breakout stars?
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — The 5-iron was almost as good as the wedge the day before. Tiger Woods played the 15th hole Saturday as if he wanted payback, and this time there was nothing controversial about it.
The 10-foot eagle putt slid just by the left side, but birdie was almost as good. Woods was not only still playing, but back in contention for a fifth green jacket on what was easily the most unusual day in his 19 years in the Masters.
“Under the rules of golf I can play,” Woods said. “I was able to go out there and compete and play.”
A day that began with the threat of a possible disqualification ended with Woods surrounded by media as the sun started to fade behind the towering Georgia pines. But the questions were about what happened the day before, rather than the 5-iron he hit close on No. 15 or the 2-under 70 he posted to move within four shots of the lead.
That he started his third round two shots worse than where he stood the night before wasn’t all that bad. After signing a scorecard that didn’t include a penalty for an improper drop on the 15th hole, there was a real possibility Woods could have been heading home Saturday instead of to the first tee.
Once there, he was determined to make his good fortune pay.
“I was fired up and ready to play,” Woods said. “I was five back and wanted to cut that in half. I kept it within reach and, as we all know, if you’re six shots within the lead on the back nine on Sunday you’re in it.”
Woods was pumped, indeed. His fairway wood found the short grass and he followed with an iron that rolled just 2 feet past the cup. The birdie touched off the first big roar of the afternoon and a big crowd followed him to the second hole, sensing that this might be a special round.
If the events of the morning were weighing on his mind, Woods didn’t show it. If anything, he seemed relieved to be playing after being summoned to the course at 8 a.m. to explain what happened when he took his drop on the 15th hole after hitting a wedge so perfect it struck the flagstick and ricocheted back into the water fronting the green.
If he didn’t explain it well after his round Saturday, maybe it was because his explanation the day before was what got him into trouble in the first place. Masters officials — acting on a tip from a television viewer — had decided among themselves that Woods would not be penalized for the drop, but that changed after hearing comments made by Woods that he dropped back two yards so he wouldn’t hit the pin again.
That would be taking advantage of a drop, something that carries a two-stroke penalty. Upon further review it was deemed just that, though Masters officials declined to disqualify Woods for signing an incorrect scorecard because he didn’t know he was under investigation when he signed it.
“There’s no question that Tiger should be penalized,” Masters competition committee chief Fred Ridley said before Woods teed off. “That’s not the issue. The issue is what should we do in imposing that penalty.”
Woods got the word he might be in trouble in a text from his agent, and was complimented by Ridley for his candor when he met with Masters officials. The penalty was quickly adjudicated, and he was sent on his way before coming back alone in a black Mercedes SUV shortly before noon to play his third round.
Later, CBS would open its telecast with announcer Jim Nantz talking about how Woods made an “innocent” and “absent-minded” mistake.
“I’ve seen guys get DQ’d before,” Woods said. “The rules officials did a fantastic job.”
Woods had a chance to make an early run after his opening birdie but missed short birdie putts on the next two holes and made the turn in even par. He finally got things going on the back nine — where he had just made one birdie in the first two rounds — with three birdies in four holes, including his last on the par-5 15th.
That was the hole where his wedge went in the water on Friday and he made what he thought was a bogey 6. It was turned into a snowman 8 with the penalty by the time he teed off and he technically cut his second round score in half with his birdie 4.
Woods finished with three pars, including an up-and-down on No. 18 that he finished off with a 10-foot putt. He gave it a little fist pump and headed toward the clubhouse, with the crowd cheering his every move.
‘It’s tough out there,” Woods said. “This is a normal Masters. We had soft conditions but the greens aren’t soft anymore. We had serious speed; they were moving.”
The round put Woods at 213, 3 under for the tournament and four back of leaders Brandt Snedeker and Angel Cabrera. It’s a spot that gives Woods hope on Sunday to end a nearly five-year victory drought in major championships, though he has never come from behind on the final day to win a major.
“It started off obviously different, but I’m right there in the ballgame,” Woods said. “As of right now I’m four back with a great shot to win this championship.”
Woods answered a few questions after the round, but clearly wasn’t about to get in any long discussions about his possible disqualification. He quickly moved to the practice green, where he threw down a half dozen balls and began hitting 3-footers, one after another.
It was back to golf. And those are the putts he’ll have to make on Sunday if he wants to win a fifth green jacket.
The star of “Beasts of the Southern Wild” charmed practically everyone at the Oscars, where she was the youngest best actress nominee ever; she went on to film a remake of “Annie” opposite Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz.
Carly Rae Jepsen
Jepsen, who had 2012’s song of the summer with “Call Me Maybe,” released the fifth and final single from her debut album in January 2013. She toured the U.S. in mid-2013 -- just as Daft Punk and Robin Thicke battled to succeed her as icons of the summer.
Honey Boo Boo
2012’s biggest reality star, the young pageant contestant Alana Thompson, had a quieter time this year, with a second season whose ratings were strong but whose buzz was a bit muted. America was, by now, accustomed to young Thompson, and outraged or scandalized reactions were reserved for other TLC programming, like “The Man With the 132-Pound Scrotum.”
Ocean missed out on the top Grammys for which he was nominated in early 2013; he bounced back quickly with featured appearances on albums by Kanye West, Jay Z and Beyoncé, and is at work on a new album. Things are looking up!
The “21 Jump Street” and “Magic Mike” star had a marginally less charmed 2013, with “White House Down” failing to connect with moviegoers and “Foxcatcher” delayed until next year. It may get worse before it gets better: His big 2014 sci-fi flick, “Jupiter Ascending,” looks … well, a little weird!
With their third album in 21 months hitting No. 1 immediately upon its fall 2013 release, the boy band that broke into America in 2012 would seem to be here to stay for a while. Still, they looked a bit nervous in their reaction shots during the Video Music Awards’ ‘N Sync reunion; maybe not this year, maybe not next, but eventually, the Justin of One Direction is going to break out. For now, though, things look good!
Lana Del Rey
The famously uncomfortable “Saturday Night Live” musical guest overcame endless mockery from 2012 to land her first top-10 hit in the summer of 2013 -- a remix of a year-old song, “Summertime Sadness.” As the co-writer of “Young and Beautiful,” the love theme from “The Great Gatsby,” Del Rey is such a front-runner for the best original song Oscar (last won by Adele) that there has been a direct-mail campaign to academy voters against her. The song was also played at the most romantic event of the year: Kanye West’s stadium marriage proposal to Kim Kardashian.
Wilson, who charmed fans of 2012’s “Pitch Perfect,” had a rockier 2013, with her sitcom “Super Fun Night” struggling creatively and in the ratings. Her next planned movies are both sequels, to “Kung Fu Panda” and -- hoping lightning will strike twice -- to “Pitch Perfect.”
Another 2012 music icon, Gotye won the record of the year trophy at the 2013 Grammys for “Somebody That I Used to Know.” He released no new singles in 2013, and has told the press he has been struggling to complete new material. Good luck, Gotye!
The golden boy of the 2012 Olympics, without feats of aquatic derring-do to distract the public this year, saw his always-tenuous persona completely shift from “amiable jock” into “utter dolt” with his E! reality series. Worst of all, the series was canceled.
In 2012, the young actress -- best known for her role in the indie “Winter’s Bone” and a supporting part in the “X-Men” franchise -- had marquee roles in the first “Hunger Games” film and in David O. Russell’s comedy “Silver Linings Playbook.” In 2013, she played to her strengths: After winning an Oscar, she starred in the second “Hunger Games” movie, on whose publicity tour she managed to charm everyone in America, and had another role in a David O. Russell comedy, “American Hustle,” for which she might just win ANOTHER Oscar. By 2014, she may end up running a major studio, or serving as president.
The breakout bikini model of 2012 made a repeat appearance on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue -- and got to do high-fashion spreads in Elle, Vogue and Vanity Fair. She was cast in a Cameron Diaz comedy, too. Some types of appeal are eternal!
E. L. James
The “50 Shades” novelist now gets to help share some input into a movie adaptation set for release in 2015. She probably never needs to work again! Isn’t that great? Isn’t that … just … great?
The “Gangnam Style” phenom performed at New Year’s 2013, but will spend New Year’s 2014 flipping channels to find his pistachio ad, his goofy antics having been outdone in the past year by “The Fox” singers Ylvis. Nothing meme can stay.
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