Saturday seemingly had something for everyone at the Masters, including the promise of more to come in the final round of the major tournament Sunday at Augusta National.
AUGUSTA, Ga. – Justin Rose had a back-nine charge so common at Augusta National. Sergio Garcia finally caught a good break in a major tournament.
Jordan Spieth got his name high on those famous white leaderboards, the only spot he has ever occupied on the weekend at the Masters, and one of the players he was tied with was Ryan Moore of Puyallup.
Saturday seemingly had something for everyone at the Masters, including the promise of more to come in the final round.
“Saturday’s gone and now Sunday’s coming — a very exciting Sunday,” Garcia said after making a 7-foot par putt on the final hole for a 2-under-par 70 to share the lead with Rose. “Just make sure we have a good chance coming into the last five or six holes, and see what happens.”
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Garcia, the most vexed player without a major in his generation, hung his head when a 4-iron from the first cut of rough on the par-5 13th hole came out soft and disappeared into the tributary of Rae’s Creek in front of the green. Just his luck, the ball bounced softly off the bank and stayed up, and from there the Spaniard hit a tough chip to tap-in range to turn a potential bogey into a birdie.
Rose was somewhat of an afterthought, five shots behind, when his tee shot to a left pin on the par-3 12th dropped in 5 feet from the hole for the first of five birdies on the back nine. He took care of the par 5s and then finished with a 20-foot birdie on the 17th hole and a 12-foot birdie on the 18th for a 67 that was the best round of the day.
Rose has a share of the 54-hole lead for the first time in a major. The Englishman also has a U.S. Open title from Merion in Pennsylvania and an 2016 Olympic gold medal from Rio. And when he surveyed the landscape, he’s not sure any of that matters.
There is too much golf left. There are too many capable players.
“A one-shot lead starting the day doesn’t mean much,” Rose said. “You’re going to have to go out and play a good round of golf, and I think there’s going to be four or five guys pretty much with the same mindset tomorrow.”
Rose and Garcia were at 6-under 210, and the one-shot lead they share was over Rickie Fowler (71), who has never been this close to the lead in a major going into the final round.
Spieth (68), Moore (69) and Charley Hoffman (72) were at 4 under, one stroke in front of Adam Scott (69).
Seattle native Fred Couples (74), a 57-year-old who won the 1992 Masters, and Kirkland homeowner Kevin Chappell (70) were among those tied for 17th at 1 over.
Spieth, who made a quadruple-bogey 9 on the 15th hole of the opening round, was 10 shots out of the lead when he trudged off the course Thursday.
He went 29 straight holes without a bogey until a three-putt from below the ridge on the par-3 16th. By then, he already was squarely back in the mix with a few good bounces and his exceptional touch on the greens.
Spieth had a two-shot lead with 11 holes to play in his Masters debut in 2014 and tied for second behind Bubba Watson. He went wire to wire to win in 2015. And he blew a five-shot lead on the back nine last year to tie for second place again.
Here he is, back in contention.
“Waking up and you have a chance to win your favorite tournament that you’ve dreamt of winning and competing in since you were a kid, and to be able to have your fourth opportunity now … I didn’t know going into my first one if I would have five chances in my life,” said the 23-year-old Spieth. “So it’s awesome.”
|Scores after Saturday’s third round at Augusta National, par 72.Final round TV: 11 a.m. Sunday, Ch. 7|