Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia tied atop Masters; Rickie Fowler 1 shot back

Posted April 15, 2017

They share the lead on six-under par 210 ahead of world number eight Rickie Fowler in third and 2015 Masters champion Jordan Spieth, one shot behind in a three-way share of fourth. "I've got three rounds to go".

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

Spieth is the name glowing hottest having come from ten shots back on Thursday to within two of the lead. His eagle putt missed by an inch.

Garcia, playing alongside the 40-year-old Californian, birdied the 15th to briefly make it a three-way tie at the top. It's the first time he doesn't hold the 54-hole lead.

World No.6 and 2015 Masters victor Jordan Spieth suffered a bogey on his opening hole and has dropped another to slump to two under. Spieth made a quadruple bogey in the opening round. I didn't know going into my first one if I would have five chances in my life.

Garcia and Rose will play in the final group, Fowler and Spieth in the penultimate group.

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Jordan Spieth is now ominously poised behind the front-runners, as the American continues to produce a remarkable recovery after ending the first day of play 10 shots off the lead. "Everything clicked into gear", said Rose. "You have to play the wind gusts and be careful where you hit it". But really, it starts on the back nine on Sunday. "I got a little loose on the back nine".

"As in any tournament, I just like to get within three or four shots on a Sunday afternoon".

SHOT OF THE DAY: Garcia gambled and appeared to come up a big loser when his second shot at the par-5 13th wound up short and right of the green in Rae's Creek. With a 4-iron in his hands, he reached it, then almost made a 29-foot eagle putt before tapping in for an easy birdie.

"Fortunately for me, that bank seems to be a tiny bit longer this year, which is nice", Garcia said. "It gives you the possibly of getting a break like that".

Garcia, winless in majors in 73 previous appearances, finished his round by clenching his fist when a 7-foot par putt dropped into the cup for 70. Three front-nine birdies were negated by a bogey at the par-four fifth and a double at the par-four two holes later, while just one birdie broke a sequence of pars on his back nine.

Rickie Fowler one stroke back. He'll be paired with Rose, a friend, for the final 18 holes.

"At the end of the day, it comes down to myself", Garcia said.

"I don't think anyone is going to put themselves far enough out front where they can cruise in".

Jordan Spieth of the United States reacts to his birdie on the 15th green during the third round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on 8 April, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia.

Saturday, he pulled off a shot that would have made Arnold Palmer proud, a 4-iron off the pine straw and over the water on the 13th to 30 feet for a two-putt birdie.

Spieth won the Masters two years ago and was runner-up last year after losing a five-shot lead on the back nine. He had a two-shot lead with 11 holes to play in his debut in 2014 before Bubba Watson overtook him.

"My best score round here is 65 and I'm going to need something like that if not lower to have a chance tomorrow", McIlroy said on Saturday night. At 3 under is 2013 champion Adam Scott (69) and at 2 under is 2011 champion Charl Schwartzel.

"Obviously I would like to be deep in the red, but one under is pretty good", said Westwood, who finished tied second with Spieth past year.

The four-time major victor, who needs to win the Masters to complete the career grand slam, hit a superb pitch to three feet but missed the par putt to leave himself five shots off the lead. He was six shots behind.