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


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

There are quite a few certainties at the Masters - Amen Corner, green jackets, fast greens, pimento cheese sandwiches.

Spieth's in the middle of his fourth straight Masters in which he played Sunday in one of the final two groups, and his cumulative score over that stretch is more than a dozen shots lower than anyone else in the field - despite the quadruple-bogey on Thursday this year and his quad meltdown on the 12th on Sunday last year. "Those are the kind of moments people who win this tournament have on Sunday". Garcia birdied the first playoff hole and Rose made bogey, after his tee shot bounced out onto pine straw near the fairway while Garcia found the fairway. The two past Masters champions are paired together in the third round and early on picked up much of the large Saturday crowd.

"I wanted to get into the red and I managed to do that just about", he told Sky Sports'Tim Barter. "You know, it would be nice to have a chance and hopefully do it".

If you are into the alleged Renaissance of English golfers, then Rose is your man. Yet the four-time major champion, playing his ninth Masters, is acutely aware of the size of the challenge he faces.

Phil Mickelson started out birdie-birdie before his round fell apart with a chunked wedge on No. 3 that led to double bogey. It is unique among the four majors in golf because it is the only major tournament, which is held at the same golf course every year.

Rickie Fowler, also seeking his first major title, had two late birdies in a 71 and is one stroke back in solo third.

"We've been having a blast this week", Fowler said. "Really, really enjoy playing this golf course, enjoy the imagination that's necessary". "I know that; if I am able to jump out into the lead, I know that you have to keep the gas pedal down and pretend you're not".

Fives birdies on the back nine, including three in the last four holes, gave the Englishman a 67 for the best round of the day and a share of the lead.

"I'm glad I took the (Saturday) scoring average down a little bit", Garcia said. Garcia has played in 71 consecutive majors, the longest current streak, and he's been in contention for plenty of them.

The 28-year-old American ended the third round on Saturday at five under par, one stroke behind the leaders a year after he failed to make the cut at Augusta. And for those counting, he's played 74 majors without a win.

McIlroy's last birdie of the third round came on No. 12, and with two par 5s ahead of him, he was poised to get right in the thick of it.

On 13, Garcia thought he put his second shot in the water that guards the green. He chipped up to tap-in range, turning a potential bogey into a birdie.

"And at the same time, I've been on both sides of it now, and I like the winning side better", Spieth said. "Thirteen obviously was one of them".

"And then today I began to feel very comfortable on the greens". I've started to hit some quality iron shots and that has some up some birdie opportunities and today I felt really comfortable with the putter.

Still, with all that talent at the top, the real favorite might be Spieth.

Moore will play in the final round with Hoffman, who had been in the lead since an impressive opening 65 in blustery winds, but dropped three shots over the closing holes on Saturday on the way to a 72.

Lee Westwood recovered from a disappointing second round to fire a brilliant four-under-par round of 68 to move into red figures for the week. His 68 was the second-lowest round of the day, behind Rose. Fowler and Spieth in the penultimate group.

Rose has a share of the 54-hole lead for the first time in a major.



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