Rickie Fowler shot a third-round 71 and trails leaders Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia by one stroke at the Masters.
AUGUSTA, Georgia Justin Rose was one of the last players to arrive at the U.S. Masters and on Saturday the Olympic champion gave himself a chance to be the last man standing when the winner’s Green Jacket is awarded.
Saturday had something for everyone at the Masters, including the promise of more to come.
Garcia finally broke through in his 71st major as a professional, and almost 18 years after he was runner-up to Tiger Woods in a breakthrough performance in the PGA Championship.
Rose will be in the last duo out Sunday at 2:45 pm (1845 GMT) with Garcia just after Rickie Fowler and 2015 Masters victor Jordan Spieth, who climbed up the leaderboard with a 68.
When Els made is debut at Augusta in 1994 experts predicted him to go on and win several Green Jackets.
“I’m going to need my best score around here, 65, and I’m going to need something like that, if not lower, to have a chance tomorrow”, he said. He drilled a 5-iron into 30 feet and narrowly missed the eagle putt. That’s kind of what we did in 2015 from the get-go (when Spieth won his first Masters by leading wire-to-wire).
That includes Garcia, who has had close calls in every major he has played except the Masters – until now. He will play with Fowler in the second-to-last group this Sunday.
Here it is: 17 of the last 20 Masters winners (85 percent) have made no worse than a bogey throughout the tournament.
So channeling “The King”, Spieth stepped up and made a swing so flawless that he was anxious his ball was going to end up beyond the green, but it settled nicely to set up a two-putt birdie.
“I need to change my golf ball”.
“I was not comfortable in the driving range, but after a couple of holes, I picked up confidence, started to hit some good shots and putted very well”, Garcia told Efe.
One day after making history as the first Mid-Amateur champion to make the Masters cut in 28 years, Stewart Hagestad continued his solid play Saturday, shooting a 2-over 74 to stand at 5-over. That’s all you want. He’s moved from 10 shots back after 18 holes to two behind.
But he wasn’t as fortunate against Jason Day Saturday, who carded four consecutive birdies on the back nine to finish with a 3-under 69.
“Fortunately for me, that bank seems to be a tiny bit longer this year, which is nice”, Garcia said.
“You’ve got some studs up there”, said Spieth, looking at the leaderboard. The 36-year-old Englishman, Garcia’s frequent Ryder Cup teammate, gave the lead back on the following hole, and left the title there for Garcia to take, but the Spaniard’s miss on the closing hole gave Rose life in the playoff.
Rose lovingly patted Garcia’s cheek before they embraced.
Rose, who started the day three off the lead, set the clubhouse lead for Garcia to match after an excellent back-nine around Augusta. He’d also bogeyed No. 14, and played his final five holes in 3-over.
Fowler spent his time in the next-to-last group hitting fairways and greens. So it means that I have to stay positive (Sunday). “I don’t think anyone will put themselves too far out in front where they can cruise in”.
Perhaps the most daunting name at Augusta National was Spieth, who began this Masters with a quadruple-bogey 9 on the 15th hole of the opening round and was 10 shots out of the lead when he trudged off the course Thursday.
Rickie Fowler leads the chasing pack on -5.
Sergio Garcia continues to own a share of the Masters lead through three rounds, but he’s keeping different company atop the leaderboard.
“And having the chance to win it a couple times was special and this tournament is not just for me”.
“Got to go out there and believe in myself again as much as I’ve been doing, be patient and don’t freak out even if I do something wrong”, Garcia said.