World No.1 Tiger Woods recovered from a controversial two-shot penalty to remain four shots behind co-leaders Brandt Snedeker and Angel Cabrera heading into the final day of the Masters at Augusta.

The 14-time major winner survived disqualification after marking his second round scorecard incorrectly having taken a drop at the 15th after his third shot had rebounded off the pin into the nearby hazard.

An investigation was first launched after a television viewer contacted the Georgia course, but Woods' post-round interview, in which he admitted to taking the drop two yards behind the initial position, led to the punishment but his ignorance to the rule restricted the penalty to just two shots

Tiger Woods
Woods remains in contention despite a two-shot penalty.

Woods, who shot a two-under round of 70, will start the final day four adrift of fellow countryman Snedeker, among the most significant movers of the day following a three-under 69 and the two-time champion Cabrera, with the pair on seven-under.

Australia trio Jason Day, who shot a one-over 73 having led going into the weekend, the runner up at last year's Open Championship Adam Scott, and day one leader Marc Leishman are in the chasing pack with Matt Kuchar, Tim Clark and Fred Couples also in pursuit.

But day three represented a difficult one for the British contenders with Lee Westwood two-under after a third round 73, as Justin Rose's 75 and Rory McIlroy's 79 saw them drop out of contention.

Tianlang Guan, the youngster player in Masters history, slipped down the leaderboard following a 77, but after a second day dominated by his shot penalty for slow play came a raucous reaction to Woods' two shot deduction.

While the American admitted after his round he hadn't considered withdrawing from the tournament, he was delighted to remain in contention for his fifth green jacket.

"I didn't think about withdrawing," Woods said. "The rules said I could play.

"It was nice to make three saves over last three holes. I'm four back so I'll see where it puts me at the end of the day. Anything within six on the back nine [on Sunday] puts me in with a shout."