Published: Tue, April 11, 2017
Sport | By Desiree Waters

3rd round at Masters a day of wasted chances for McIlroy

3rd round at Masters a day of wasted chances for McIlroy

Fowler said: "I hit a lot of really good putts today that kept the round going".

It was a miserable day for four-times major champion Ernie Els, who was seeking his first Masters title at the age of 47. His scorecard was cleaner on the second nine, but only featured one birdie at 15.

Fred Couples (70), a 57-year-old former Masters champion, 2013 US Open victor Justin Rose (72), red-hot Spaniard Jon Rahm (70) and Ryan Moore (69) stood three shots off the pace. He missed a 14-foot par-saving putt that would've put some pressure on the Spaniard.

Justin Rose won gold in the 2016 Olympic Games. And when he surveyed the landscape, he's not sure any of that matters.

A Spieth mantra this week has been, "What would Arnie do, " in reference to the go-for-broke nature of Arnold Palmer, whose death a year ago has left this Masters without his physical presence for the first time since 1954.

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"They gave me a plaque, a picture, saying, 'Nothing runs like a Day, '" he said.

Spain's Sergio Garcia, often named as the best golfer never to win a major, faced some drama in his third round but came through admirably.

"I think it's going to be a long, hard-fought day, " Fowler said. After the Arnie-inspired shot from the pine straw on 13, he tapped in for birdie.

It was his way of saying Arnold Palmer would go for it, and his way of letting Michael Greller know that Spieth was feeling it. He missed that for a three-putt bogey. Spieth had birdies on the sixth, eighth and ninth holes to move within two of Hoffman.

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Spieth had a two-shot lead with 11 holes to play in his Masters debut in 2014 and was runner-up to Bubba Watson. "It's win or go home".

Marc Leishman had a solid front nine, but shot 6-over on the back nine, including a triple-bogey on the 15th, for a round of 78 to put him 9-over for the tournament.

While Charley Hoffman stole a march on the field with a seven-under 65 despite high and gusting winds on day one, McIlroy shot a level 72 and when Garcia posted a Friday 69 to join the American in the halfway lead, the world number two could only manage a one-over 73.

Only 10 players remained under par, all of them separated by five shots. At 3 under is 2013 champion Adam Scott (69) and at 2 under is 2011 champion Charl Schwartzel.

However, next year will be his fourth attempt at completing the career grand slam and none of the five players to have done it needed more than three tries at winning the final leg.

"You're thinking 'I want to be in the afternoon tee times, ' but once again, it's an opportunity".

Hosted by the Augusta National Golf Club, The Masters takes place in Augusta, Georgia every year.

Garcia is playing his 71st consecutive major championship, a streak stretching back to the 1999 Open Championship at Carnoustie. "It's heightened even more, just because you can hear what's going on around you", McIlroy said about the roars and groans of Augusta's massive galleries.

"I feel great. After the first round, I couldn't ask for much better than this", Spieth said.

Is he going to become a Tiger Woods like at Augusta National here, where he'll be the dominant figure that everyone will watch - win or lose - when the final round begins?

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