Rose, Garcia tied for lead at Masters in prelude to finale

15 April, 2017, 01:28 | Author: Douglas Reid
  • Rory Mc Ilroy of Northern Ireland plays a shot on the 18th hole during the second round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club

Spieth, who squandered a five-shot lead with nine holes to play previous year, will start Masters Sunday two behind joint leaders Justin Rose (67) and Sergio Garcia (70) and one behind Rickie Fowler (71).

"It was hard but it was fun", he said after shooting 70 to tie Justin Rose for the 54-hole lead at 6-under-par 210.

"It was a very solid round and then obviously finishing birdie, birdie, just kind of put the cherry on top of what was a good day", said Rose, the 36-year-old Englishman who won the U.S. Open in 2013.

The cold wind disappeared and the roars were back in the first major of the season. Sergio's going to have a great opportunity. Yet the four-time major champion, playing his ninth Masters, is acutely aware of the size of the challenge he faces.

Were he to do it, he would become only the second men's major champion in history to trail by 10 or more shots after the first round.

Sergio Garcia finally showed he has what it takes to win a major, and he has a green jacket to prove it. "Everyone has a story line". Now that he is back in contention but trailing for one of the few times in his brief Masters career, Spieth insisted perhaps he was in a better position chasing Rose and Garcia than he'd been in when leading the pack in the past.

Pieters turned in a record performance as a rookie in Europe's Ryder Cup defeat a year ago and is certainly not phased about trying to become the first player to win on their Masters debut since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979. And if I don't, then so be it. "I'll be able to tell you better tomorrow night whether those missed opportunities hurt my chances". I guess when you play with someone you get along, it might help.

Hoffman had a chance to keep his distance until he ran off five bogeys in a six-hole stretch, including a three-putt from 4 feet at the par-5 eighth.

He will be paired with Spieth in the penultimate group. Right ahead of them will be Fowler and Spieth, who are also good friends.

At least he gave himself some positive vibes to sleep on with a tricky two-putt par save from 60 feet at the 18th hole, recovering from an approach shot that dropped on the fringe about pin high but caught a little ridge, sending it tumbling back down to the front tier of the green.

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One such good break Garcia experienced Saturday came at the par-5 13th.

After a frustrating third round on Saturday in which he failed to close the gap to the lead, the world number two still trails the pacesetters by six strokes going into Sunday's final round.

Jordan Spieth is playing in his fourth Masters and never has finished worse than second place.

Elsewhere, outside of Spieth, big names played consistently, and there was only a brief moment where Charley Hoffman's lead was more than two strokes.

The Masters' biggest leaderboard logjam in 44 years could begin to get sorted out now that the four co-leaders have teed off in the tournament's third round. It's play aggressive or go home. "My lowest round here, I'm not sure it's going to be low enough".

Garcia has been taking a methodical journey to what he hopes is his first-ever major championship.

Fowler spent his time in the next-to-last group hitting fairways and greens.

"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. "If you have a chance you have to go for it and pull off the shot. But at the end of the day, that's part of the game". Rickie Fowler. Jordan Spieth.

Jordan Spieth (6th) put together a second consecutive sub-70 round to get to within two shots, tied with Ryan Moore and Charley Hoffman, who led the first two days and most of Saturday before his tee shot on 16 found water and led to a double bogey.

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