Miércoles, 19 Setiembre, 2018

Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler among favorites in wide-open Masters

Garcia Rose share Masters lead Andrew Redington Getty Images
Galeno Paniagua | 21 Abril, 2017, 19:23

McIlroy was only six shots behind, but he had 10 players ahead of him - Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia, Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth, enough of them to make it hard to expect all of them to stumble on Sunday.

He is tied with Sergio Garcia, his European Ryder Cup teammate who is seeking to end an 0-for-73 drought in major tournaments, at 6-under 210 after three rounds. After a two-putt birdie, Spieth was a shot out of the lead, firmly in the hunt for his second green jacket and in contention for the fourth consecutive year.

Here are the best highlights from Round 3 at Augusta National.

Rose was optimistic about his chances of claiming the coveted green jacket by winning, but was grateful just to be in with a chance.

The two Americans, Spain's Sergio Garcia and Belgian Thomas Pieters were locked together on four under par after two rounds played in swirling winds. I have an opportunity. "That's all you want", Rose said.

Much the way he doesn't worry about how first-timers generally don't play well at the Masters or how it takes time to get the feel of a layout like Augusta.

His back nine was filled with pars except on the two par fives.

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Garcia hung his head in the 13th fairway when his 4-iron shot disappeared off a bank toward the tributary of Rae's Creek.

Outsider Pieters, who had never played Augusta National until this week, nevertheless says he knows exactly what to do on the final hole if he is in with a chance come Sunday.

"This is Jordan Spieth's fourth Masters".

Rose lovingly patted Garcia's cheek before they embraced.

Both players lie on a score of six-under par for the tournament, with American Rickie Fowler breathing down their necks a shot further back.

Garcia, who has made a tournament-low five bogeys in 54 holes, shot 70 to maintain a share of the lead he held after 36 holes with three other players.

He will be paired with Spieth in the penultimate group.

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If you are into sentiment or karma, then Garcia is your man. Sunday marks the 60th anniversary of the birth of Seve Ballesteros, the greatest golfer from Garcia's native Spain and a two-time Masters victor.

Overall, 10 golfers have a solid shot at winning The Masters, entering the final round at -1 or better.

Charley Hoffman, who started the day at 13/2 after opening 150/1, was unable to keep up his torrid pace after Day 1, shooting a three-over 75 to sit at 4-under for the tournament. His approach on the 15th hole went over the green, and after a fine pitch to 10 feet, he missed that one, too. Rose had an electric day, improving by five strokes in Round 3.

In start contrast to the flashy 28-year-old Fowler is 57-year-old Couples, the 1992 green jacket victor who has been a perennial challenger at the Masters since becoming eligible for the Champions Tour. "You know we lost so I really don't care about that stat", he said.

Charley Hoffman, who began the day as part of a four-way tie for the lead at 4-under, spent much of it alone at the top of the leaderboard before putting his tee shot in the water at the par-3 16th hole.

That won't make it any less exhausting, not with 15 players separated by only five shots. Last year, the Masters was won by Briton Danny Willett.

Spieth is trying for his second victory here in three years, McIlroy hopes to complete the career Grand slam, Fowler is in search of his first major title.

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It was a similar story for McIlroy on the front nine.


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