Third Round – 79th Masters Tournament – Augusta National Golf Club – Augusta, Georgia –
The 79th Masters is shaping up for a dramatic Sunday final round at Augusta National Golf Club.
With 21-year-old Jordan Spieth sleeps on the 54-hole lead with a chance to make Masters history. Spieth withstood a charge by major champions Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Justin Rose and Phil Mickelson to secure a four-shot advantage.
Spieth survived some troubling signs including three bogeys and a late double bogey at No. 17 to shoot 70 and finish up 16-under overall – a Masters 54-hole record by a shot. He was just one shot off the all-time mark in major championship play.
Leading by seven shots at one point late Saturday, Spieth managed a key up-and-down at the final hole to keep his momentum. The softer-than-expected conditions led to lower scoring Saturday including a host of 67s by Mickelson, Woods and Ian Poulter.
McIlroy shot 68 and plays with Tiger Sunday at a 2:30 p.m. local tee time.
Spieth, No. 4 in the Official World Golf Ranking, was a 10-to-1 betting selection heading into the week at www.skybet.com. Thanks to three victories in 11 worldwide starts since November, Spieth is the hottest player on the planet. But, he has it 0-for-4 with the 54-hole lead or a share of the lead in his short career. That includes a blown opportunity to win last week in Texas.
Rose, who rallied with five birdies in his last six holes, plays with Spieth in the final pairing. He starts at 12-under and four shots back. At 8th in the world, Rose won the U.S. Open in 2011 but is playing in the final pairing for the first time in his career.
Look for Spieth’s start on the front nine to set the tone early. Look for either Charley Hoffman (10-under and solo fourth place) or Dustin Johnson (T-5 at 6-under) to bounce back Sunday with solid rounds.
He led by two shots last year on the late on the front nine before slipping away as Bubba Watson took control and went on to capture the Green Jacket.
Other Golf news:
- Woods is T-5 heading into the final round at Augusta. For Tiger, he has not finished a 72-hole event under par in more than a season. His game appears to be rounding into shape. Flashes of the Old Tiger showed up in spots Saturday to wow the crowd.
- Rose, who has struggled much of 2015, entered the week as a 40-1 betting pick to win the Green Jacket.
- The last European-born player to capture The Masters was in 1999. Rose will have the opportunity to snap that streak but he faces a leader board full of Americans.
- Kevin Streelman and Kevin Na are part of the large group at T-5 and 6-under. Both are looking for their career-best major championship finishes.
- Watson, the defending champion, is T-25 after three rounds. He has yet to break 70 this week.