Masters 2017: How day three unfolded - including Justin Rose's rapid rise and Jordan Spieth's moment of magic

An action-packed day three saw Rose join Sergio Garcia at the top of the leaderboard

Phil Casey
Sunday 09 April 2017 09:56

Ryder Cup team-mates Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia share the lead heading into the final round of the Masters after a dramatic third day at Augusta National.

Rose, who became the first English winner of the US Open for 43 years at Merion in 2013, carded a third round of 67 to finish six under par, with halfway joint leader Garcia shooting 70.

Rickie Fowler was a shot off the lead after returning a 71, with 2015 champion Jordan Spieth another stroke back alongside compatriots Ryan Moore and Charley Hoffman.


"This is Jordan Spieth's fourth Masters. It's the first time he doesn't hold the 54-hole lead. He's 2 back. Let that sink in for a second" - PGA Tour website writer Sean Martin (PGATOURSMartin) notes Spieth's remarkable record at Augusta.


Jordan Spieth found himself in the pine straw under the trees on the par-five 13th, a position similar to that from which playing partner Phil Mickelson played a brilliant shot on his way to the title in 2010. Spieth could have been forgiven for playing safe, but smashed a long iron onto the green from 230 yards and narrowly missed the eagle putt.


Rose was one over par for the day after seven holes, but birdied the par-five eighth and picked up five more shots coming home in a back nine of 31. The resulting 67 matched his lowest score in the Masters.


"Jose sent me a beautiful message on Wednesday night, and you know, he has a good touch when it comes down to those things. It really meant a lot." Garcia reveals he received a message of support from two-time winner Jose Maria Olazabal.


Best score to par in 3rd & final rounds of majors, since 2012: Rose -34, Fowler -22, Spieth -19 (courtesy of @JustinRayGC)


For the first time this week the first hole was not the toughest and even gave up six birdies. The 18th played the most difficult in round three with Justin Rose making one of just five birdies, with 16 bogeys and two doubles leading to an average of 4.283.


Unsurprisingly it was a par-five which played the easiest, with the 13th regaining its title from the opening day. Although there were no eagles, compared to two on the 15th, 24 of the 53-strong field made birdie, with just three bogeys recorded for an average of 4.604.


References to the late Seve Ballesteros, who would have celebrated his 60th birthday on Sunday. Garcia is looking to join Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazabal as Spanish champions at Augusta.

Garcia has 22 top-10 major finishes but has never won one


Phil Mickelson began the day with birdies on the first two holes before making a mess of the short third, hitting an iron off the tee into a bunker and even duffing a pitch - a rare occurrence for someone with his short-game skills. The 46-year-old dropped three more shots on the front nine as a 74 dropped him out of contention to become the oldest ever Masters champion.


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