Rose, Garcia share Masters lead, setting up drama-filled final round
Apr 17 2017 by Kelly Saunders
And he doesn't want to leave himself out of the narrative for the final chapter.
Rose stormed home with five birdies in his final seven holes for a five-under-par 67, the day's lowest round, giving him a one-shot lead along with Spaniard Sergio Garcia at six under heading into Sunday's final round.
The American, who is yet to win a major title, was one over through 10 but also birdied the back-nine par fives to remain firmly in the hunt.
The other two co-leaders through the first two rounds, Charley Hoffman (72) and Thomas Pieters (75) of Belgium, took the biggest plunges, Hoffman into a tie for fourth with 2015 Masters champion Jordan Spieth (68) and Ryan Moore (69) at 4-under and Pieters into a tie for ninth with Lee Westwood (68) at 1-under.
And if there was any doubt that Jordan Spieth wouldn't perform during at least one round of the Masters, it can now be put to rest.
Garcia is going for the first major title of his career. "It's not going to be easy", Garcia told Sky Sports.
"Everybody has a storyline and I'm not even touching upon past champions who are right there, as well".
"I know anything can happen", Spieth said, which sparked nervous laughter in an interview room where almost everybody remembered last year's collapse. Spieth, who lost the chance of a second-straight green jacket in a blink of an eye previous year, is looking ominous after carding birdies at the sixth, eighth and ninth holes. But with that being said, even when you're playing conservative lines, you still have to execute.
Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia finished the third round tied for the lead at 6 under after storming up the leaderboard on the back nine.
A month later he finished second in the US PGA Championship at the age of 19, but has since recorded a further 21 top-10 finishes without claiming a maiden major title.
"I took advantage and the last two birdies put the cherry on the cake". Then he added, "I'm not getting ahead of myself". "That's all you want".
Rose posted 5-under-par 67 today to finish with a 6-under-par 210 total through 54 holes at the Masters Tournament. The final group will be Garcia and Rose, each with his own accomplishments and burdens. His only blemish Saturday came with a three-putt bogey on the short 16th, his first bogey in 30 holes, to slip back to four under. "It's always fun when you're playing with one of your good buddies".
Justin Rose reclaimed the Masters lead at the 16th hole with a brilliant tee shot, which set up an 8-foot birdie putt that pushed his score to 10 under.
As usual, it includes Jordan Spieth, two shots behind and in contention for the fourth consecutive year.
"I thought", Spieth said afterward, "that in order to win this golf tournament-I hit my favorite shot I've ever hit in competition in my life on that hole going for it when we had that decision in 2015-so there's just good vibes".
While much of the attention was on Spieth's charge, Rose went about his business in typically unassuming fashion.
"This will be a new experience, coming from behind to try to win this", Spieth said. "I plan to play aggressive at this point".
"So it means that I have to stay positive".
One such good break Garcia experienced Saturday came at the par-5 13th.
"I'm proud that I pulled that shot off", Spieth said.
"I should be making birdie off the tee shots", McIlroy said.
"I think that at the end of the day, that's really the only thing you can do".
"The key for me was staying patient early in my round".
Hoffman, who had a two-stroke lead at one time on Saturday, hit into the water on the 16th hole and fell back with a double-bogey 5. "The course was in magnificent shape, and it was there for the taking in the sense that if you played great golf, you were rewarded, but still had enough teeth that if you weren't on your game, it was going to get you".
McIlroy blistered drives of more than 300 yards in the fairway on the two par 5s on the back nine at Augusta, and both times walked off with pars.
"I can't be too disappointed with that, I left a few out there on the front nine especially but all-in-all I was please with the way I played".