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Day 3: Will Rory dampen Reed’s hopes of winning his first green jacket at the Masters?

European Tour
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Posted by Admin 09 Apr 2018

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy says he wants "to spoil the party" for Masters leader Patrick Reed by completing his own career Grand Slam at Augusta.

 

McIlroy, 28, is three shots behind the American, who has never won a major, going into Sunday's final round.

 

 

Reed ir Rory at the Masters?

 

 

"I feel like all the pressure's on him," said four-time major winner McIlroy. "He's got a few guys chasing him who are pretty big-time players."

 

 

McIlroy kept alive his hopes of a first Green Jacket with a bogey-free seven-under 65 on Saturday, putting him on 11 under ahead of American Rickie Fowler on nine under and Spain's Jon Rahm on eight under. Reed, 27, leads the way on 14 under after a third-round 67 which contained two eagles.

 

 

McIlroy is aiming to become only the sixth man to win all four majors, having already secured victories at the US Open, the Open Championship and the US PGA Championship.

 

 

Masters Leaderboard round 3

 

 

Winning the Green Jacket would propel the world number seven into exalted company alongside Jack Nicklaus, Gene Sarazen, Gary Player, Ben Hogan and Tiger Woods.

 

Sealing victory at the Masters has been McIlroy's main priority after four consecutive top-10 finishes at Augusta National.

 

"I'm really excited to show everyone what I've got, to show Patrick Reed what I've got and all the pressure is on him," added McIlroy.

 

 

Will it be Rickie Fowler or Jon Rahm too?

 

 

Rickie Fowler

 

 

Don’t tell Rickie Fowler and Jon Rahm the fight for a Green Jacket is a two-horse race.

 

While Patrick Reed (-14) and Rory McIlroy (-11) are certainly in command of the tournament, Fowler (-9) and Rahm (-8) are not about to wave the white flag just yet.

 

As we have seen many times at Augusta National – anything can happen on Sunday at the Masters.

 

Ask Greg Norman. Ask Jordan Spieth. No lead is safe.

 

Norman led by six in 1996 and lost by five. Spieth hit the par-3 12th hole still in control of the second win in 2016 and dumped two balls into Rae’s creek.

 

Anything can happen.

 

And so while the two rivals in the final group can take all the attention – those behind can go under the proverbial radar and try to make their Sunday charge.

 

“I can't control anyone else, other than putting birdies up on the board,” Fowler said.

 

“We're definitely in the golf tournament. I'm going to need to play the front nine well tomorrow and put myself really in the mix for when this golf tournament starts, which is the final nine holes.

 

“They are fierce competitors, and we'll see, maybe we can put a few numbers up there and sneak up on them.”

 

The record for biggest comeback belongs to Jack Burke (1956) and Gary Player (1978) - they came from eight back to win.

 

More recently, Nick Faldo was six back of Norman in 1996, and Danny Willett was five shots back with six holes to play in 2016 against Spieth.

 

“The big thing is I'll need to make some key putts, whether they are for birdie or pars, not to fall further behind, and to really put ourselves in a position to go win this tournament,” the 2015 PLAYERS champion added.

 

“We’re ready to do that. Tomorrow's a chance for us go do something pretty cool.”

 

Fowler has a recent history of getting it done from behind. While an 18-man unofficial event like the Hero World Challenge might not be a major, it was still against some of the best players on the planet last December. He started seven shots back. And he won by four.

 

 

Tiger Woods’ Lost Magic

 

Tiger Woods

 

 

As the golf ball began its descent toward the green on the devilish 12th hole in Saturday’s third round of the Masters, Tiger Woods’ heart began to spring eternal.

 

In the two previous rounds, his ticker sunk as both his tee shots found watery graves in Rae’s Creek fronting the green. This time, however, the ball found the putting surface. Woods raised his hands in celebration, flashed the safe sign and a big smile, and then bumped fists with caddie Joey LaCava.

 

“I just couldn't do it three days in a row. I just couldn't do it,” Woods said with a smile on his face after the round. “I gave it a little bit more gas on it and made sure that I was long if I did miss. And I hit a good one in there.

 

“Missed the putt, but, hey, you know, that's a lot easier to play the hole from the green than it is taking a penalty and dropping.”

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