US Masters: Day Three

It's round three at Augusta, and Jordan Spieth is moving through the field

Ruaidhri Croke Sun, Apr 9
 
LIVE: US Masters: Day Three

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  • 17:15
    Good evening and welcome to The Irish Times liveblog of moving day at the US Masters! My name is Ruaidhrí Croke and I'll be with you until the small hours of Sunday morning when things will be right in shape for the final day. You can get involved by using the 'Contact Us' button at the top of the blog or you can get me on Twitter @Ruaidhri_Croke. It's Saturday at Augusta, let's go!
  • 17:30

    So, after the cool gusts of wind that blew through the tall pines of Augusta National on Thursday and Friday, the weekend has given way to absolutely perfect scoring conditions. The sun is out, the temperature is in the mid 20s and the wind has died to little more than a zephyr. That means we're expecting good scores around the famous Georgia track today but it also means that the greens will dry out more and more during the day, living right up to their trecherously quick billing.

    For Rory McIlroy it's been a case over the first few days of grinding out a score and staying in touch. In a change from the norm - particularly around Augusta - it's been his chipping and putting that's kept him in touch with his play off the tee a little wilder than usual. If he can start finding a few fairways and maintain his good play around the greens today he'll be confident of shooting something in the 60s and moving into a strong position going into tomorrow.

    But there's a lot more to it than that in a leaderboard absolutely jam-packed with talent. Nine of the top 20 players in the world currently sit in the top 20 on the leaderboard and within seven shots of co-leaders Charley Hoffman, Thomas Pieters, Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler.

    That group includes Jordan Spieth who showed what he's all about yesterday with a stunning 69 to sit tied-10th and just four behind the lead on level par, despite a quadruple bogey nine at the 15th on Thursday. With a point to prove after last year's collapse, Spieth sits very nicely indeed and is surely one of the main dangermen to add a second green jacket to his cabinet and make his Masters record second, first, second, first.

    But the great thing about the Masters and Augusta is that, every year, it brings out the best in older players that were seemingly past it. And this week that's certainly the case for Freddie Couples. 'Boom Boom' rolled back the years yesterday with a two under par round of 70 - coming within milimetres of an eagle two at the final hole - to go into the third round just three off the lead.

    Just days after golf was again embroiled in controversy after the catastrophic handling of the Lexi Thompson rules situation at the ANA, one of the many things that makes this sport so great is on full show at Augusta.

    Today, 57-year-old Couples will partner 22-year-old Spaniard Jon Rahm - both with eyes on capturing the green jacket. For Rahm it'd be his first and make him the first rookie to do so since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979. If Couples wins it'd be his second Masters title, 25 years after his first in 1992. That was two years before Rahm was even born. There aren't many other sports you'd get that in.

  • 17:31

    How they stand at the halfway mark  ...  

    -4:  Hoffman, Garcia, Pieters, Fowler
    -2:  McGirt
    -1:  Moore, Rahm, Couples, Rose
    E:  Scott, Spieth, Mickelson
    +1:  Kuchar, McIlroy, Kjeldsen
    +2:  Schwartzel, Matsuyama, Kaymer
    +3:  Els, Dufner, Westwood, Leishman, Haas, Walker, Henley, Steele, Stuard, Hagestad (a), Chappell, Casey, Koepka
    +4:  Perez, Stricker, Oosthuizen
    +5:  An, Wiesberger, Grillo, Thomas, Summerhays, Hadwin, Kisner, Sullivan, Fitzpatrick, Snedeker
    +6:  Hahn, Fisher, Luck (a), Mize, Holmes, Molinari, Berger, Grace, Day

    ...  and today’s tee times, local (then UK).

    10.20am (3.20pm): Jason Day
    10.30am (3.30pm): Daniel Berger, Branden Grace
    10.40am (3.40pm): JB Holmes, Francesco Molinari
    10.50am (3.50pm): Curtis Luck (a), Larry Mize
    11am (4pm): James Hahn, Ross Fisher
    11.10am (4.10pm): Matthew Fitzpatrick, Brandt Snedeker
    11.20am (4.20pm): Kevin Kisner, Andy Sullivan
    11.30am (4.30pm): Daniel Summerhays, Adam Hadwin
    11.40am (4.40pm): Emiliano Grillo, Justin Thomas
    12pm (5pm): Byeong-Hun An, Bernd Wiesberger
    12.10pm (5.10pm): Steve Stricker, Louis Oosthuizen
    12.20pm (5.20pm): Brooks Koepka, Pat Perez
    12.30pm (5.30pm): Kevin Chappell, Paul Casey
    12.40pm (5.40pm): Brian Stuard, Stewart Hagestad (a)
    12.50pm (5.50pm): Russell Henley, Brendan Steele
    1pm (6pm): Bill Haas, Jimmy Walker
    1.10pm (6.10pm): Lee Westwood, Marc Leishman
    1.20pm (6.20pm): Ernie Els, Jason Dufner
    1.40pm (6.40pm): Hideki Matsuyama, Martin Kaymer
    1.50pm (6.50pm): Soren Kjeldsen, Charl Schwartzel
    2pm (7pm): Matt Kuchar, Rory McIlroy
    2.10pm (7.10pm): Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson
    2.20pm (7.20pm): Justin Rose, Adam Scott
    2.30pm (7.30pm): Jon Rahm, Fred Couples
    2.40pm (7.40pm): William McGirt, Ryan Moore
    2.50pm (7.50pm): Thomas Pieters, Rickie Fowler
    3pm (8pm): Charley Hoffman, Sergio Garcia

  • 17:39

    Our man in Augusta - Philip Reid - has been hard at work all week in the new state of the art media centre at the National. On Wednesday he did tip Charley Hoffman at 100/1 so if you followed that you shouldn't feel too jealous of the luxury the media are being treated to this week.

    You can read his report from yesterday's play here, while you can also get his take on Shane Lowry's disappointing second round - which saw him miss the cut - here.

  • 17:45

    The highest placed player currently on the course is Brooks Koepka (three over par for the tournament) and he's just gone through the first hole with a par.

    Best for the day so far is the nearly man of the 2015 US Open - Branden Grace - who birdied the first and the third to get to two under for the day and four over for the tournament. It's at that mark that he has just made the turn.

    First out this morning was Jason Day and, owing to the fact that 53 players made the cut, he had to play with a marker - usually an Augusta member by the name of Jeff Knox. You might remember that he played with Rory McIlroy in the third round of the 2014 tournament and beat him by a shot!

    Unfortunately I don't know what Knox is for the day today but I will endeavour to find out. That opening pairing has just gone through the 11th hole and Day is level par for the day, six over for the tournament. Check out the next post to see how close he came to making a hole-in-one at the sixth this morning.

  • 17:45
  • 17:48

    Only three of the 25 players on the course are currently under par. It looks like those mysterious men in the green jackets have tucked away the pins today. Speaking of pins, locations for the third round are on the way.

  • 17:49
  • 18:07

    Those high scores over the first two days may have been surprising to some as Augusta generally yields relatively good scoring. However, the impact of a strong wind at the Georgia course cannot be understated. Paul McGinley called it "the hardest course in the world" when the wind blows and he's not far off.


    It's the gusts that cause the most problems as they swirl through the tall pines. To illustrate this let me tell you a story which I recently read in Curt Sampson's excellent book The Masters: Golf, Money and Power in Augusta.


    It was 1954 and the Masters had been plagued by high winds all week. On Sunday it was no different with a number of scores in the 90s before Sam Snead eventually won out with a record high winning score of one over par.


    However, the wind was the real story and no more so than when Bob Rosburg got to the famous 12th hole. The par three was exactly how it is today, playing 155 yards but wickedly difficult in the middle of the gusting wind.  


    With 30mph gusts coming straight at him, Rosberg took a four-iron for the short shot over Rae's Creek. However, just as he made contact with the ball, the wind - as it so often does at Augusta - suddenly dropped. Rosberg's gutta percha ball flew over the green, over the pine trees (which were not quite as tall as today), over the azaleas and right into the neighbouring Augusta Country Club. Out of bounds.


    Rosberg re-teed. The wind picked up again and was howling straight into the players. Once again Rosberg took out his four-iron. This time the wind stayed constant, held his ball up and let it settle 12 feet from the pin - a good 40 or 50 yards shorter than his first tee shot.


    The American would roll in the putt for a bogey four and go on to finish tied sixth.


    So, there you have it, the wind at Augusta causes absolute havoc.

  • 18:14

    But let's get back to the present day. It's 2017 and Jason Day has just birdied the 12th and 13th holes to get back to four over for the tournament and set himself well on the way to a pairing with another competitor on Sunday.

    Meanwhile Jimmy Walker and Brian Stuard have both picked up birdies in their opening two holes to move to two over for the tournament. They're the highest placed players currently on the course.

    Just 45 minutes now until McIlroy time...

  • 18:18
  • 18:23
    If you're wondering about the fortunes of any particular player don't hesitate to ask by using the 'Contact Us' button at the top of the blog and I will give you all of the information you need!
  • 18:27
    DAY WATCH: Three straight birdies for the Australian at the 12th, 13th and 14th mean he's quietly crept to within seven shots of the leaders at three over par. If nothing else he's at least ensuring himself of a longer lie-in on Sunday.
  • 18:31
  • 18:34

    Let's all just agree on something straight away: Pádraig Harrington is instantly going to be the best golf commentator on the television.

    Meanwhile, Jason Day is showing no signs of stopping! He's rolled in a short putt for birdie on the par five 15th to make it four in a row and get back to two over, now just six off the lead and tied 17th. The first man out this morning is showing everyone else just what sort of score can be made today.

  • 18:36

    Jimmy Walker follows his birdie at the first with another at the second and is already gaining ground on the leading quartet. He's now one over for the tournament.

    We're less than 25 minutes away from McIlroy time! He'll play with eternal top10 specialist Matt Kuchar today.

  • 18:41

    With a huge putt across the rollercoaster 16th green, Day comes within milimetres of a fifth birdie in a row. He settles for par and remains two over.

    Brandt Snedeker is always a good bet at the Masters and he's putting together a good third round at the moment. After a rare birdie at the 10th he's now back to three over par and two under for the day.

  • 18:52

    Just nine minutes now until Rory McIlroy gets his third round underway, so let's get predictions.

    Who's the champion come Sunday evening?

    I'm plumping for Sergio Garcia to finally break his major drought.

  • 18:55
  • 19:00
    Fore, please! Rory McIlroy now driving.
  • 19:02

    McIlroy smashes his opening drive straight down the middle, leaving just a short iron for his second.

    He's never birdied this hole in any of his nine appearances at the Masters. Today would be the perfect time to do that and kickstart what will hopefully be a low third round.

  • 19:04

    An opening birdie for the evergreen Dane Soren Kjeldsen moves him to level par and tied-10th.

    -4: Hoffman, Garcia, Fowler, Pieters

    -2: McGirt

    -1: Moore, Rahm, Couples, Rose

    E: Scott, Spieth, Mickelson, Kjeldsen (1)

    +1: McIlroy, Kuchar, Walker (4), Chappell (7)

  • 19:08

    That opening McIlroy drive was just the 348 yards, leaving him a flick of a wedge to the green.

    He has indeed flicked that wedge but not just quite enough, spinning back and leaving him with 28 feet for birdie.

  • 19:09
  • 19:13

    Next on the first tee is Phil Mickelson and Jordan Spieth as the big names just keep on coming.

    Up at the green McIlroy's birdie putt misses left and he tidies up for par. That's a solid start for McIlroy on a hole that has caused him many problems over the years.

    -4: Hoffman, Garcia, Fowler, Pieters

    -2: McGirt

    -1: Moore, Rahm, Couples, Rose

    E: Scott, Spieth, Mickelson, Kjeldsen (1)

    +1: McIlroy (1), Kuchar (1), Chappell (7)

  • 19:16

    McIlroy will be hoping to take advantage of the par fives today and he's given himself a good chance at doing exactly that at the second. His 308 yards drive has missed the right bunker and gives him the perfect angle into the green for his second.

    Meanwhile, Snedeker has added another birdie, the latest coming at the 13th, and is now two over.

  • 19:20

    Jason Day signs for a 69 and the low round of the day so far, leaving him currently tied 23rd.

    But back at the second Soren Kjeldsen continues to move up the leaderboard with another birdie which gets him to one under and just three behind the leaders.

    Kevin Chappell is also making a move. At the par four seventh he holed out with his second shot for an eagle two before following it with a birdie at the eighth. He's now level par.

    -4: Hoffman, Garcia, Fowler, Pieters

    -2: McGirt

    -1: Moore, Rahm, Couples, Rose, Kjeldsen (2)

    E: Scott, Spieth, Mickelson, Chappell (8)

    +1: McIlroy (1), Kuchar (1), Schwartzel (2)

  • 19:22

    Birdie time for Mickelson!

    The three-time Masters champion has rolled in his putt for three at the first to move to one under, now just three behind the lead.

    Up at the second McIlroy fires right at the pin with a fairway wood and it's a beauty. It lands right on line with the pin before trickling right and finishing 20 feet away. That will be for an eagle three!

  • 19:26

    McIlroy makes an early move!


    Two good putts on the second green for the four-time major winner gives him his first birdie of the day and gets him back to level par. That's the perfect start for the man chasing the career grand slam.


    -4: Hoffman, Garcia, Fowler, Pieters


    -2: McGirt


    -1: Moore, Rahm, Couples, Rose, Kjeldsen (2), Mickelson (1)


    E: Scott, Spieth, Chappell (8), McIlroy (2)


    +1: Kuchar (1), Schwartzel (1), Westwood (6)

  • 19:26
  • 19:28

    At the first the latest group to tee off is Justin Rose and Adam Scott - surely two of the best swings on tour to watch and today they play together.


    Both have found the green with their approach shots and face 20 feet birdie putts.

  • 19:30

    Okay, buckle up; Rory McIlroy is right on it today.

    At the 350 yard par four third he's smashed his drive right up to the green and will face a fairly routine 20-yard up and down for birdie.  

    Well, when I say routine I mean as routine as you can get at Augusta. Which is extremely difficult.

  • 19:36

    Rory!

    This is exactly the charge he needed! After that birdie on the second he has got up-and-down on the third for another and is now one under and just three shots behind the leaders.

    Back at the first Rose and Scott both two-putt for solid pars.

    -4: Hoffman, Garcia, Fowler, Pieters

    -2: McGirt

    -1: Moore, Rahm, Couples, Rose (1), Kjeldsen (2), Mickelson (1), McIlroy (3)

    E: Scott (1), Spieth (1)

    +1: Kuchar (1), Schwartzel (1), Westwood (6), Chappell (9), Walker (7)

  • 19:38

    But McIlroy isn't the only one making a quick start! Mickelson has followed his birdie at the first with another at the second and is now two under.

    There's still 20 minutes before the leaders tee off and already we're nearly at boiling point. This is going to be some four and a half hours or so.

  • 19:43

    -4: Hoffman, Garcia, Fowler, Pieters

    -2: McGirt, Mickelson (2)

    -1: Moore, Rahm, Couples, Rose (1), Kjeldsen (2), McIlroy (3)

    E: Scott (1), Spieth (2)

    +1: Chappell (9), Walker (7)

  • 19:45

    The par three fourth is playing extremely tough today at 240 yards. But that's no hassle for McIlroy in this form. He arrows a long iron in to 18 feet and is looking right on his very best form.

  • 19:48

    The Couples/Rahm pairing has got their third round underway and are both level through one.

    Back at the fourth Kjeldsen dropped a shot and has slipped back to level par.

  • 19:54

    That great birdie, birdie start from Mickelson has quickly unravelled at the third. After finding the the bunker off the tee he chunked his second short of the green and then caught his pitch fat (yes, even Phil Mickelson can do that with a wedge in hand). That's all resulted in a double bogey six and the three-time winner slips back to level par.

    Up ahead at the fourth McIlroy's long birdie putt misses but it's okay, it's a solid par for him and he remains three behind the lead.

    Back at the second Scott has picked up his first birdie of the day to join McIlroy on one under while Rose has dropped a shot, slipping back to level par.

  • 19:57

    -4: Hoffman, Garcia, Fowler, Pieters

    -2: McGirt (1),

    -1: Moore (1), Rahm (1), Couples (1), McIlroy (4), Scott (2)

    E: Spieth (3), Mickelson (3), Rose (2), Kjeldsen (5)

  • 19:58
    Okay, here we go. The final two ball are on the first tee! That'll be Hoffman and Garcia, while Fowler and Pieters are already on their way down the first fairway.
  • 20:00

    Up ahead at the fifth it's a first poor shot of the day for McIlroy. After another good tee shot to the fairway, his approach comes up 10 feet short of the pin and spins back, catching the false front and finishing on the fringe, almost 50 feet away.


    At the second Rahm has got off to the perfect start with a birdie four to reach two under. He's joined at that mark by Couples who also finds a four at the par five and the 57-year-old is now just two off the lead!

  • 20:03
    The final two ball of Garcia and Hoffman both find the fairway with their opening drives and we are fully underway on moving day at the Masters!
  • 20:07

    The first slip of the day for McIlroy comes at the fifth.

    His long birdie effort up the false front was as tough a putt as you will get at Augusta, sliding 12 feet past. From there he failed to make the par putt back and he slips back to level par.

    Over at the first it's also a bogey for Thomas Pieters who is back to three over.

    -4: Hoffman, Garcia, Fowler (1)

    -3: Pieters (1)

    -2: McGirt (1), Pieters (1), Rahm (2), Couples (2)

    -1: Moore (1), Rose (3), Scott (3)

    E: Spieth (4), Mickelson (4), Kjeldsen (6), McIlroy (5)

  • 20:10

    We have a new name at three under!

    William McGirt rolls in a birdie putt at the second to join Pieters just one shot behind the leaders. His playing partner, Ryan Moore, matches him with birdie and moves to two under.

    Up ahead to the par three sixth where the pin is cut right at the back of the huge green today. Wary of that, McIlroy leaves his tee shot 30 feet short. That's not a bad effort there though, a par will always be welcome on the sixth.

  • 20:13

    Jon Rahm!

    The 22-year-old Spaniard has followed his birdie at the second with another at the third and is now just one behind the lead at three under!

  • 20:16

    McIlroy safely negotiates the sixth green in two putts to remain level par.

    Back to the final group at the first. After finding bunker trouble with his tee shot Hoffman has scrambled beautifully to save par while Garcia does the same.

    -4: Hoffman (1), Garcia (1), Fowler (1)

    -3: Pieters (1), Rahm (3), McGirt (2)

    -2: Couples (3), Moore (2)

    -1: Rose (4), Scott (4)

    E: Spieth (5), Mickelson (5), Kjeldsen (6), McIlroy (6)

  • 20:18

    The Masters has a new leader!

    At the par five second Fowler's second shot missed the green right but he safely gets up and down from there for a birdie to get to five under.

    Pieters joins him with a four to immediately recover the bogey on the first and get back to four under.

  • 20:20
    McIlroy has reached the seventh where he's looking to pick up a first birdie since the second and get right back into this. His tee shot however wanders right and could be facing tree trouble.
  • 20:23

    It is tree trouble for McIlroy but he's managed to get his second out and up towards the green. However, it catches the front bunker and from there he'll be left with very little green to play with. He needs to weather this tough stretch without doing too much damage and then hope to take advantage of the back nine.

    Meanwhile, at the fourth Couples leaves a good chance at birdie short to remain at two under while Rahm fails to get up and down, dropping a shot to slip back to two under.

  • 20:25

    -5: Fowler (2)

    -4: Hoffman (1), Garcia (1), Pieters (2)

    -3: McGirt (2)

    -2: Couples (4), Rahm (4)

    -1: Rose (4), Scott (4), Moore (3), Spieth (6)

    E: Kjeldsen (6), McIlroy (6)

  • 20:27
    It's all going wrong for McIlroy at the seventh. After finding the sand with his second his ball was plugged, forcing him to play way out right, away from the pin. That left him with a huge par putt which he left 10 feet short. Failing to save bogey from there it's a double bogey six and he now slips back to two over and seven behind the lead.
  • 20:29

    Garcia plays a beautiful pitch shot over the bunker and up to eight feet at the second. He'll have that to join Fowler at five under while Hoffman faces a similar distance to get to the same mark.

    That could soon leave them on their own in the lead however as Fowler is suffering a disaster at the third. After drving left his second shot missed the correct level and rolled off the green, down into the fairway. With his third he did the exact same as things got uglier and uglier. He finally got up onto the green with his fourth but faces 10 feet just to limit the damage to a bogey.

  • 20:30

    And the lead has changed hands again!

    Garcia's birdie putt slid just past the right edge at the second, leaving him to settle for par.

    But no such trouble for Hoffman. He rattles in his birdie putt to get to five under and take sole possession of the lead!

  • 20:32

    -5: Hoffman (2)

    -4: Garcia (2), Pieters (3), Fowler (3)

    -3: McGirt (3)

    -2: Couples (4), Rahm (4)

    -1: Rose (5), Scott (5), Moore (3), Spieth (6)

    *+2: McIlroy (7)

  • 20:33

    As you can see there, Fowler did very, very well to roll his tough bogey putt down the hill at the third and ensure he only dropped one shot. He falls one behind Hoffman but avoids what could have been a major disaster there.

    Over at the fourth McGirt sinks a similar putt to save par and remain two behind.

    At the par five eighth a big drive from McIlroy leaves him within range of the green for his second. He really needs to start chasing it now.

  • 20:35

    Over at the 14th Paul Casey has rolled in his third birdie in a row and is now up to one under and inside the top 10.

    There is so much movement going on at the moment. Moving day is certainly living up to its billing.

  • 20:38

    Garcia and Hoffman both leave devilishly quick birdie putts down the slope at the third after good pitches to the terrifying green.

    Up at the par three fourth Fowler and Pieters have both tugged their tee shots left and face tough up and downs to save par.

  • 20:39

    At the fifth Couples has dropped a shot to slip back to one under while Rahm manages a solid par to remain at two under.

    The course is getting drier and drier by the second and the players are finding it seriously difficult. But one thing for sure is that it's seriously entertaining viewing!

  • 20:40
    At the eighth McIlroy muscles his second shot up to the left hand side of the green. That's a good side to miss on and leaves him with plenty of green to play with for what is an imperative up and down to make birdie.
  • 20:43

    Garcia and Hoffman both go close with their birdie efforts at the third but both see them slide past.

    At the fourth Pieters flips a beautiful wedge shot to a few inches and tidies up for par. Fowler's chip isn't quite as good but no matter as he rolls in yet another downhill putt, this time to save par and remain four under.

    -5: Hoffman (3)

    -4: Garcia (3), Pieters (4), Fowler (4)

    -3: McGirt (4)

    -2: Rahm (5)

    -1: Casey (14), Scott (6), Moore (3), Spieth (7), Couples (5)

    *+2: McIlroy (7)

  • 20:45

    McIlroy takes full advantage of that good second shot at the eighth by getting up and down for a birdie. That gets him back to one over and will hopefully now ignite a charge, although he does have three of the toughest holes on the course coming up.

    At the top of the leaderboard it's continuing to stack up as McGirt rolls in a beautiful birdie putt at the fifth to get to four under and into a tie for second.

  • 20:48

    Jordan Spieth! He's just fired a superb drawn three-wood into the par five eighth to leave eight feet for eagle! That would take him to three under and just two off the lead.

    The Augusta specialist is creeping up on the leader...

  • 20:49
    Again, if you're wondering about any player in particular just use the 'Contact Us' button to get in touch and I'll fill you in.
  • 20:52
    Stephen Duffy How is rory doing?
  • 20:53

    He's one over through eight.

    At the ninth he's just played his approach into the heart of the green but watches it trickle back down the slope, leaving 30 feet up the hill there for birdie.

  • 20:53

    Charley Hoffman!

    The leader rolls in his birdie putt at the fourth to get to six under and take a two shot lead!

    Garcia will now have the chance to do the same and cut the gap to one...

  • 20:56

    ...but he fails to do so. His putt slides past and Hoffman now holds a two shot lead at Augusta.

    Up at the eighth Spieth's eagle effort is a little weak and falls away on the left. However, he settle for a birdie and gets to two under.

    -6: Hoffman (4)

    -4: Garcia (4), McGirt (5), Fowler (5)

    -3: Pieters (5)

    -2: Rahm (6), Spieth (8)

    -1: Casey (15), Scott (7), Moore (5), Kjeldsen (9), Couples (6)

    *+1: McIlroy (8)

  • 20:57

    At the ninth McIlroy has to give his birdie putt a good hit just to get it up to the hole and does so well, leaving a short putt back for par. That's a front nine of 36 - level par - for McIlroy but he's now seven behind leader Charley Hoffman.

    Back at the sixth McGirt has given his birdie at the previous hole right back and he slips back to three under.

  • 21:01

    Let's go up ahead to the fifth where Garcia is faced with hitting a huge hook around a pine tree for his approach to the green from 172 yards.

    The Spaniard is going along nicely at level par for the day but could do with picking up a shot or two on Hoffman. Here at the fifth though he'll be happy to take par and has given himself a good chance to do so, drawing his approach around the trees and onto the left portion of the green, 25 feet from the hole.  

    Hoffman faces a similar putt which would give him a three shot lead if it dropped.

    At the 10th McIlroy's tee shot with a three-wood shoots straight at right and nestles into the pine straw, leaving a very long second to the green.

  • 21:04

    Jordan Spieth!

    Had you counted him out after that nine at the 15th on Thursday? Wel you shouldn't have.

    At the ninth he's stuffed his approach to two feet and has that to get to three under and into a tie for fourth!

  • 21:04

    Sergio!

    It's all heating up now! I said he'd be happy with a par at the fifth but he's taking none of that as he rolls in a huge birdie putt to get to five under and just one behind Hoffman!

  • 21:08

    Hoffman can't repeat Garcia's heroics and has to settle for par, meaning the gap is now just one.

    -6: Hoffman (5)

    -5: Garcia (5)

    -4: Fowler (6)

    -3: Pieters (6), McGirt (6), Spieth (9)

    -2: Rahm (6), Scott (8)

    -1: Casey (16), Moore (6), Kjeldsen (10), Couples (7), Rose (8)

    *+1: McIlroy (9)

  • 21:09
    After hitting his tee shot out right on the 10th, McIlroy does well just to get his second up the hill and onto the green at the 10th. However he's left with a very long birdie putt from which he'd happily settle for par.
  • 21:13

    William McGirt is showing absolutely no signs of nerves! At the seventh he's just rolled in a monster par putt down the hill to remain at three under.  

    Everyone has been talking of Jon Rahm possibly being the first rookie to win the Masters since 1979 but McGirt is the one in with a big chance at the moment. At 37 years old it's his first ever Masters.

    Up at the 10th McIlroy misses his long birdie putt right but holds his nerve to coax the par effort down the hill and into the back of the hole, meaning he remains at one over and seven shots behind.

  • 21:16

    At the par three sixth the final two ball are both struggling a little. After leaving their tee shots well short they then both leave their birdie putts well short.

    Garcia is up first for his knee-knocker par effort to keep the momentum going and he knocks it right into the middle! This is a Sergio we haven't seen before - he really seems to be confident on the greens.

    Hoffman steps up to maintain his one shot lead...

    ...but he can't do it and we have a tie for the lead!

    -5: Garcia (6), Hoffman (6)

    -4: Fowler (6)

    -3: Pieters (6), McGirt (7), Spieth (9)

    -2: Rahm (7), Scott (8)

    -1: Casey (17), Moore (7), Kjeldsen (10), Couples (8), Rose (8)

    *+1: McIlroy (10)

  • 21:19

    Up at the 11th McIlroy has corked a perfect tee shot straight down the middle, while at the seventh Garcia has found the trees on the left with his tee shot.

    Up ahead on the green Fowler was faced with a long par putt after finding trouble and he can't convert, meaning he slips back to three under.

    Garcia and Hoffman now have a two shot lead on the field.

  • 21:21

    Jordan Spieth is absolutely dialled in. He is the danger man here no question.

    After flying the green with his second at the 10th he was left with a virtually impossible pitch shot up to the green and across the huge slopes. It's no problem to the veteran-like Augusta specialist however as he spins a beautiful checking chip down to two feet. He'll knock that in to remain three under.

  • 21:21
  • 21:23

    Rory McIlroy!

    After that perfect drive at the 11th - the hardest hole in Masters history - he flights a gorgeous high draw in to five feet! That's to get to level par and he's still right in this. He's fighting hard and a good back nine will leave him with a great chance on Sunday.

    Over at the eighth Couples has picked up a birdie to get to two under and just three shots behind. At 57 years of age he's still right in this!

  • 21:25

    At the seventh Garcia is forced to hit a low punch up short of the green. leaving a tough pitch over the bunkers for what would be a superb par. He needs that to maintain his momentum.

    Here comes McIlroy for birdie on the 11th...

  • 21:26

    ...and he misses!

    That's a huge blow. You could play that 11th hole 100 times and not get a better chance at birdie than that. He remains one over.

    Back on the tee Spieth smashes a drive down the right but is fortunate to get a kick out of the trees and into perfect position on the fairway.

  • 21:28

    That tough pitch for Garcia at the seventh proved to be exactly that. He could only fly it well over the pin where it held up on the back fringe, leaving a treacherous long par putt down the glass-like green.

    After going long at the ninth Couples uses all of his Augusta experience to coax a putt down to holeside from where he should tap in to remain two under.

  • 21:33

    McIlroy has reached the famous par three 12th. His tee shot is a little long and settles on the back fringe, leaving 20 feet for birdie.

    But back to the leaders we go at the seventh. Hoffman guides his birdie putt up to the hole and taps in for a welcome par that will leave him in sole possession of the lead.

    That's because Garcia's par putt came up five feet short and left him battling to limit the damage to just a bogey.

    -5: Hoffman (7)

    -4: Garcia (7)

    -3: Fowler (7), Pieters (7), McGirt (8), Spieth (10)

    -2: Rahm (9), Scott (9), Moore (8), Couples (9)

    -1: Kjeldsen (10), Rose (8), Dufner (14)

    *E: McIlroy (12)

  • 21:33

    As you can see from that leaderboard, McIlroy rolled in that long birdie putt at the 12th and is now back to within five!

    And that's with the reachable par five 13th to come. He's still right in this!

  • 21:36

    I just hope McIlroy cleared his drive at the 13th with air traffic control before hitting.

    This one is an absolute monster! He rifles it right over the corner of trees and down into the middle of the fairway, leaving no more than a nine iron for his second into the par five!

  • 21:37

    Spieth does very well to get up and down at the 11th for a safe par and he remains three under.

    And now he goes to the 12th...

    Remember, remember the final round last year...

  • 21:41

    Okay, rhyming was never my strong point.

    His tee shot today certainly isn't finding the water but it's left him in a seriously tough spot over the back left of the green.

    And Garcia has company in second place! At the eighth Fowler has rattled in a long birdie putt to get to within one of Hoffman.

    Alongside him Pieters holes a similar length of putt for par to remain at three under but, crucially, maintain his momentum.

    And all the action is kicking off now! At the ninth Moore has rolled in a big birdie putt of his own up the hill to get to three under, alongside Pieters, Spieth and playing partner McGirt who really should have got to four under but missed a short birdie putt.

    At the par five eighth Garcia has found the green in two.

    Phew!

  • 21:43

    With the water lurking in his eyeline at the 12th, Spieth is understandably cautious with his chip but leaves himself 15 feet or so to save par.

    Up we go to McIlroy at the 13th...

  • 21:45

    ..he fires his second shot right at the pin but it catches the back slope and slides into the collection area. That leaves a seriously tough up and down for his birdie as there is very little green to play with. Not what he needed.

    Back at the 12th Spieth is right in the Spieth-zone as he rolls in that par putt for a huge save! That's as good as any birdie he'll make today or tomorrow as it keeps him just two behind the lead and cruising along nicely.

  • 21:49

    Garcia ties the lead!

    After that excellent second shot he safely negotiates the green in two putts and takes his birdie to get to five under alongside Hoffman who can only manage par.

    -5: Hoffman (8), Garcia (8)

    -4: Fowler (8)

    -3: Pieters (8), McGirt (9), Spieth (12), Moore (9)

    -2: Rahm (10), Scott (10)

    -1: Couples (10), Kjeldsen (13), Rose (10), Dufner (14)

    *E: McIlroy (12)

  • 21:50
  • 21:51

    That tough pitch for McIlroy at the 13th proves to be exactly that. He barely gets it up onto the correct level, leaving 12 feet or so for a birdie that should have been practically assured after that drive.

    Fowler takes two putts at the ninth for a good par to go out in a level par 36 and remain one back.

    Pieters does the same for a front nine of 37 and three under for the tournament.

  • 21:54

    And with that McIlroy fails to make birdie. That could prove to be a momentum killer. Chasing down the leaders you really, really need to make birdies at the par fives. He remains level par and five behind.


    Back at the 13th, Spieth sprayed his drive out right into the pine straw - right in the middle of Phil Mickelson country in fact.


    And his second is quite Mickelson-esque!


    He fires a low iron into the green and will have 15 feet for eagle.

  • 21:54
  • 21:58

    Despite being at the top of the leaderboard Hoffman is just quietly going about his business and he looks set to take the lead on his own. A super second into the ninth green leaves him with five feet for birdie while Garcia has about 30 feet.

    Over at the 11th Rahm has picked up a rare birdie with an excellent long putt, getting himself to three under.

    Meanwhile, at the 10th McGirt can only manage bogey and slips back to two under.

  • 22:01

    Hoffman leads on his own!


    The American makes no mistake after that excellent approach at the ninth and once again he goes into the sole lead.


    -6: Hoffman (9)


    -5: Garcia (8)


    -4: Fowler (9)


    -3: Rahm (11), Pieters (9), Spieth (12), Moore (9)


    -2: McGirt (10), Scott (12), Moore (10)


    -1: Couples (11), Kjeldsen (14)


    *E: McIlroy (13)

  • 22:03

    Uh oh.

    Garcia has putted so well all day but you're just always expecting some sort of slip-up. That's come on the ninth where he left his birdie putt short before lipping out his par effort and slipping back to join Fowler on four under.

    But that pair are also joined by Spieth! His eagle putt scares the life out of the hole on the 13th, leaving a tap-in birdie (they're always nice aren't they?) and the 2015 winner is now just two behind.

  • 22:06

    It's been a poor few minutes for the Spaniards and it's getting even worse. At the 12th Rahm's tee shot lands on the bank and trickles back into the water. After taking a drop he flies the green with his third shot and is now staring double bogey or worse in the face.

    Meanwhile, at the 11th, Moore has stuffed a superb second shot into a few feet and has that to get back to three under.

    But the time looks to be running out for McIlroy. After another excellent approach at the 14th his birdie putt slides past on the right. That's three good chances missed in four holes now and one wonders if his putting is beginning to desert him on the Augusta greens once again...

  • 22:08

    Rahm does well to get up and down from the back of the green at the 12th but that's a double bogey five and he's now five behind the lead.


    -6: Hoffman (9)


    -4: Garcia (9), Spieth (13)


    -3: Fowler (10), Pieters (10)


    -2: Moore (10), McGirt (10), Scott (12), Rose (12)


    -1: Couples (12), Rahm (12)


    *E: McIlroy (14)

  • 22:14

    Moore makes his short birdie putt at the 11th and gets to three under.

    But suddenly we have another former champion right in the mix! After a birdie at the 13th and an eagle at the 15th Charl Schwartzel is now all of a sudden at two under par!

    Meanwhile, Justin Rose has picked up birdies at the 12th and 13th and is now three under where he is joined by playing partner Adam Scott!

    This is just superb viewing. Challengers are coming from all over and hunting down Hoffman at the top of the board!

  • 22:15
    Up ahead at the 15th McIlroy's second flies over the par five green but holds up before the water. However, it's the water short of the green that's now going to be his problem as he faces an absolutely treacherous chip shot back towards the pins.
  • 22:19

    Garcia knocks his long birdie putt five feet past the hole at the 10th and faces a big momentum putt back down the hill but he holds his nerve to roll it right into the middle. That's huge after his bogey on the previous hole.

    He remains two behind Hoffman who safely two-putted for par.

    -6: Hoffman (10)

    -4: Garcia (10), Spieth (14)

    -3: Fowler (10), Pieters (10), Rose (13), Scott (13), Moore (12)

    -2: McGirt (12), Schwartzel (15)

    -1: Couples (12), Rahm (12), Kjeldsen (15), Westwood (68)

    *E: McIlroy (14)

  • 22:21

    Faced with that tricky pitch from the back of the 15th green McIlroy plays a beauty which grips and rolls down towards the hole. That leaves him with eight feet for birdie.

    Back at the 11th tee Garcia and Hoffman have reached Amen Corner. Garcia fires one straight down the middle while Hoffman snaps his left, leaving him with a tough approach which he'll have to draw around the trees if he's to go for the green.

  • 22:26

    A few minutes ago I wondered if McIlroy's putting touch was again beginning to unravel on the Augusta greens. It looks like it has. After that excellent pitch at the 15th his birdie putt misses left. That's three good chances missed in a row now and another at the 11th. He could forseeably have made five birdies in a row there and be four under now. As it is he's made one and is still level par.

    Back at the 13th Rahm answers back to his double at the 12th with a good birdie which gets him to two under.

    And at the 11th it's been a disaster for Pieters. After a superb approach he's three-putted from six feet and slips back to two under.

  • 22:28

    Apologies, that was in fact a double bogey for Pieters at the 11th and he's now back to one under.

    At the 16th McIlroy's tee shot is at least a club short and leaves him with a very tough two-putt for par. He could be just too far back now...

  • 22:29

    At the 11th Hoffman is undeterred by his drive into the left rough as he fires an excellent approach to 20 feet.  

    From the centre of the fairway Garcia puts it inside him and will have a good look at birdie.

  • 22:32

    JORDAN SPIETH!

    The mental strength of this young man is absolutely incredible. On the 15th - the hole he made a quadruple bogey on during the first round - he's spun a sensational wedge shot in to a few inches and tapped in for birdie to get to five under.

    Jordan Spieth is now second on his own and just one behind the lead.

    I repeat:  Jordan Spieth is now second on his own and just one behind the lead.

  • 22:38

    Garcia's putt is understandably tentative at the 11th, coming up a few feet short. However, he tidies up for par and remains two behind Hoffman.

    That's after the American negotiates a slightly longer putt in the same number.

    At the 16th McIlroy gave his long birdie putt a good run and then did very well to hold his nerve a find the bottom of the hole from five feet for par.

    Meanwhile, at the 13th, Moore has rolled in a raker of a birdie putt to join Garcia at four under!

    -6: Hoffman (11)

    -5: Spieth (15)

    -4: Garcia (11), Moore (13)

    -3: Fowler (12), Rose (14), Scott (14)

    -2: McGirt (13), Schwartzel (17), Rahm (14), Couples (14)

    -1: Westwood (68), Pieters (12)

    *E: McIlroy (16)

  • 22:40

    Spieth was always going to be the dangerman and he's certainly living righg up to that billing. He's absolutely pumped up and wants his gree jacket back.

    However, he'll have to negotiate a long two-putt at the 16th to stay within one of Hoffman who has safely made a par three at the 12th.

    At the same hole Garcia flighted a moonball pitching wedge over the pin, spinning it back to 10 feet from where he will putt to join Spieth at five under...

  • 22:41

    ...but he can't do so! His putt slides by the right edge and somehow, somehow, stay out!

    At the 13th Fowler's second crept off the back of the green but he plays a perfect pitch to a few inches and taps in for birdie to get back to four under alongside Garcia and Moore.

  • 22:44

    After spraying his drive into the pine straw right on the 17th McIlroy can only find the front bunker with his second from where he'll face a tough up and down for par.

    But we have yet another man to four under! Up at the 15th Rose found the green in two and safely got down for his birdie four to get within two of Hoffman.

    Playing partner Scott could only manage a par and remains at three under.

  • 22:45

    Well there's a rare sight.

    After a good first putt at the 16th Spieth misses his six footer for par and slips straight back to four under, leaving Hoffman with a two shot lead.  

    Back at the 14th Couples rolls in a huge 35 foot par putt to remain at two under and within four of the lead!

  • 22:46

    What a shot from McIlroy.

    He spins a cracking splash shot out of the bunker on the 17th and taps in for par to remain level par.

    He's still, just about, hanging in there and might just have a chance with a very low round tomorrow. A birdie at the last would be a major help on that score.

  • 22:50

    After getting into a share of second with his birdie on the 13th, Moore drops back to three under with a bogey at the 14th.

    Up at the penultimate hole Spieth cracks a perfect drive down the middle before firing his second into the middle of the green. Two pars to finish and he'll be in perfect position going into Sunday.

  • 22:52

    What a break for Garcia.

    What. A. Break. After his tee shot sprayed right at the par five 13th his long iron approach was never even near getting over the water. It bounces on the top and jumps back towards the drink but, somehow, holds up on the bank!

    What a stroke of luck and maybe, just maybe, the golf gods are smiling Sergio this week.

  • 22:54

    Scott and Rose both safely negotiate the 16th green in two putts for solid pars to remain three under and four under respectively. The big players are just lining up behind Hoffman, ready to pounce...

    But Hoffman won't let them! After laying up with his second at the 13th he flights a beautiful low wedge in to 10 feet. That will be to get to seven under!

  • 22:55

    Sergio!

    Taking full advantage of that break on the 13th, he bumps a gorgeous third shot up to two feet and converts for birdie to move into second on his own at five under!

    At the 14th Fowler makes an excellent par save to remain at four under.

  • 22:56
  • 22:58

    Well it just hasn't been McIlroy's day today. He finishes up with a par at the 18th and a round of 71 to go into Sunday at level par.

    And that's now seven behind!

    That's because Hoffman steps right up and rattles his birdie putt in at the 13th! There is absolutely nothing shaking this man!

    -7: Hoffman (13)

    -5: Garcia (13)

    -4: Spieth (17), Rose (16), Fowler (14)

    -3: Moore (14), Scott (16)

    -2: McGirt (14), Schwartzel (68), Rahm (14), Couples (14)

    -1: Westwood (68), Pieters (14)

    *E: McIlroy (71)

  • 23:01

    Spieth has reached 18 and crushed a drive straight down the middle. A birdie there might just get him into the final group tomorrow.

    Back to the final group on the 14th tee and it could be trouble for Hoffman. He's sprayed his drive right into the pine straw while Garcia absolutely corks one straight down the middle.

  • 23:04

    From the 15th Fowler's tee shot is blocked right and will almost certainly leave him with no option but to lay up.

    But up to the 18th we go and Spieth's 189 yard approach. He fires a big high draw in there that bounds right up onto the top level and settles 25 feet from the pin. That's a superb approach and gives him at least a chance at birdie.

  • 23:06

    Justin Rose!

    The 2013 US Open champion is absolutely cruising through the back nine! He's rolled in another birdie at the 17th and is now tied second with Garcia on five under!

    Alongside him Scott could only manage a par so he stays at three under.

    But Garcia might just be about to move into second on his own. He's flighted a gorgeous approach into the 14th green, leaving 12 feet for birdie there.

    from the trees on the right Hoffman did an excellent job just to get his ball to the green where it bounded through but left him with a good chance at saving his par.

  • 23:07
  • 23:10

    After two great shots at the 15th Moore gets down in two for his birdie and he now gets back to four under.

    Back to the 14th we go and Hoffman's chip. And now we could have some trouble. He's a bit heavy-handed with his effort and sees his ball race by the pin, catch a slope and rolls to 25 feet or so. That's for par.

    At the 18th Spieth can't make it a photo finish with a birdie, his effort racing past. He has work to do just to save par and finish at four under.

  • 23:11

    Hoffman's lead becomes one!

    His par putt at the 14th comes up short and he slips back to six under where he could be tied within seconds by Garcia if the Spaniard can role in his good birdie chance.

    Back to the 18th we go and Spieth, because he's Jordan Spieth, easily knocks in his par putt for a superb 68 and a total of four under which leaves him right in the frame going into the final round!

  • 23:14

    Garcia's birdie putt comes so close to dropping once again but stays out. He remains five under and now just one behind.

    -6: Hoffman (14)

    -5: Garcia (14), Rose (17), Fowler (15)

    -4: Spieth (68), Moore (15)

    -3: Scott (17)

    -2: McGirt (15), Schwartzel (68)

    -1: Westwood (68), Pieters (14), Rahm (16)

    *E: McIlroy (71)

  • 23:17

    And as you can see there, Rickie Fowler has made it a trio of players just one behind Hoffman.

    After a bit of a disappointing third shot into the par five 15th he makes up for it with a perfect birdie putt which drops right in the middle.

    Back at the 15th Garcia's tee shot chases left a tad too much and will force him to hit a big swinging draw for his second - if he's going for the green in two that is.

    No such trouble for Hoffman who finds the middle of the fairway.

    Up ahead at the 18th Rose will have 12 feet for yet another birdie and a tie for the lead with Hoffman...

  • 23:19

    Justin Rose ties Charley Hoffman at the top of the leaderboard!

    What a finish that is from the Olympic gold medalist! That's a five under par back nine of 31 and a 67 which leaves him as the clubhouse leader on six under par.

    Alongside him Scott tidies up for par and finishes at three under. The Aussie is still right in this.

  • 23:19
  • 23:21

    Back to the 15th we go and the final two ball. With his second shot Hoffman went for the green but pushed it right into the gallery where it appeared to clatter off an unwitting spectator. That leaves him with quite a challenge just to get down in three and make par.

    Garcia fires a huge hook around the trees which lands on the back of the green but, thankfully for him, settles down. That leaves a quick chip down the green but a good chance to make a birdie and tie Rose and Hoffman.

  • 23:24

    Sergio!

    This is the Spaniard at his absolute best and I must say I'm really fancying his chances of finally lifting a major title. From the back of the 15th he bumps a beautiful pitch shot down to three fet from where he will have a putt to tie the lead.

    Up ahead at the 16th Fowler has exactly that himself but his effort comes up short and he has to settle for a par to remain five under.

  • 23:27

    What a shot from Hoffman.

    From the gallery on the right at the 15th he flights an excellent high pitch over the pin and leaves himself with 20 feet for birdie. That's as good as he could have done from there and then some. He's just showing no signs of shaking even though everyone is expecting him too. It's been some performance so far from the American.

  • 23:29

    It's been a disappointing day for European rookies Rahm and Pieters.

    The Spaniard is level par for the tournament - one over for the day - coming up the last while Pieters is three over for the day and back to one under for the tournament.

  • 23:31

    Once again Hoffman shows his nerves of steel.  

    He knocked that birdie putt a good five feet past, leaving an absolute knee-knocker coming back for birdie before Garcia even putted. But he held firm and rolled it in.

    However, he has more company! Garcia confidently rolls in his birdie putt and ties Hoffman and Rose at six under!

    -6: Hoffman (15), Garcia (15), Rose (67)

    -5: Fowler (16)

    -4: Spieth (68), Moore (16)

    -3: Scott (69)

    -2: McGirt (16), Schwartzel (68)

    -1: Westwood (68), Pieters (16)

    *E: McIlroy (71)

  • 23:35

    Charley Hoffman...

    The American shows his first sign of nerves as he hooks his tee shot at the par three 16th straight into the water!

    Could this be the big turning point?

    Garcia safely negotiates his effort up towards the pin where it rolls into the fringe, leaving a tricky downhill chip.

  • 23:38

    Hoffman's third after a drop is well below the pin and leaves him with at least 30 feet for bogey.

    Up at the 17th Moore does very well to get up and down to save his par and remain three under.

    At the 18th Rahm does likewise and signs for a 73, leaving him level par. Alongside him Couples finishes with a 74 and one over for the tournament.

  • 23:39

    It's the Texas wedge for Garcia at the 16th as he takes three-wood from the fringe and what a superb shot he's played!

    He bumps it on down the slope to two feet. That was absolutely magical from the Spaniard.

  • 23:39
  • 23:41

    Hoffman's long bogey putt comes up four feet short and it's a double for the American He slips back to four under and leaves Garcia and Rose in a tie for the lead after the Spaniard successfuly tapped in for his par.

    -6: Garcia (16), Rose (67)

    -5: Fowler (16)

    -4: Spieth (68), Moore (17), Hoffman (16)

    -3: Scott (69)

    -2: Schwartzel (68)

    -1: Westwood (68), Pieters (16), McGirt (17)

    *E: McIlroy (71)

  • 23:43
    Rickie Fowler has put on an absolute putting masterclass today and that continues at the 17th where he rolls in a 12 footer for par with absolutely no sweat. He just looks so, so comfortable with the putter in his hands.
  • 23:45

    On the 17th tee Garcia absolutely rips one down the middle.

    He's followed by Hoffman who does well to gather his composure after that double on the last.

  • 23:48

    Up ahead at the 18th McGirt and Moore and coming up to the green. Moore's approach looks like it should land in the middle of the green and remain on the bottom tier but it takes a big bounce forward and gets right up to pin high. That leaves him with a decent look at birdie which would tie Fowler at five under.

    He's gone about his business completely under the radar today but is right there in the mix.

    Back on the tee Fowler finds the centre of the fairway with a gorgeous high fade from the tee.

  • 23:52

    Moore's birdie effort at the last sneaks past the right edge but he taps in for par, a round of 69 and a very good chance tomorrow at just two shots back from the leaders.

    Alongside him McGirt finishes with a disappointing 74 which leaves him on level par.

  • 23:53

    Back at the 17th Garcia and Hoffman both fire fairly uninspiring approaches into the severe green, leaving tough two putts.

    Hoffman is up first and his effort is never on line, slipping away on the low side and leaving a knee-knocker for his par.

    Coming from the other side, Garcia has a much more makeable putt with not too much break.

  • 23:54

    The Spaniard's pace is perfect but it misses on the left. However, that's a good solid par and he remains tied with Rose at six under.

    Hoffman now to save par and not compound the damage suffered on 16...

  • 23:55

    ...and he does so. So Hoffman goes up the 18th at four under, two behind leaders Garcia and Rose.

    One behind them is Fowler but he will face a seriously tough two putt on the 18th green after his approach from a perfect position comes to rest right at the front of the green, at least 60 feet from the pin which sits right at the back and two tiers higher.

  • 00:00

    Fowler does brilliantly to negotiate the 18th green in two putts and save yet another par. His putting has been absolutely sensational today. That's a 71 for Rickie and five under for the tournament, leaving him one behind Garcia and Rose.

    He'll be out with Spieth in the second last group tomorrow if Hoffman fails to birdie 18. The final day pairings are looking simply mouthwatering.

    Alongside him Pieters finishes with a bogey for a 75 and a total of one under.

  • 00:01
  • 00:03

    From the middle of the 18th fairway Hoffman's approach flies a little left, catches the edge of the green and trickles back down to the middle tier, leaving a tough two putt.


    Next up is Garcia. He attempts to play a high fade into the back pin but comes right up out of it, his ball landing and rolling back down to the same level as Hoffman's. Two putts and he'll go into the final round tied for the lead with Rose.

  • 00:07

    Hoffman's lag putt comes up eight feet short and leaves a tricky par putt to finish on four under.

    Now comes Garcia...

  • 00:08

    ...he has the pace right but leaves it out right. And it's about five feet away.

    This is an absolutely huge putt. Make it and he stays in a tie for the lead and takes the momentum into Sunday. Miss it and he loses some of that momentum and also loses his place in the final group.

  • 00:08

    Hoffman does well to hole his par putt and sign for a level par round of 72 and a four under total, two behind the leader.

    Now, Sergio...

  • 00:09

    Okay, this isn't five feet. It's more like eight.

    At least...

  • 00:10

    SERGIO!

    That's not the Sergio we know at majors! That flaky putting which has been such a feature of his major championship career was nowhere to be seen today and particularly not on the final green as he rolls in that par putt and gives a first pump. He knows just how important that was.

  • 00:14

    -6: Garcia (70), Rose (67)

    -5: Fowler (71)

    -4: Spieth (68), Moore (69), Hoffman (72)

    -3: Scott (69)

    -2: Schwartzel (68)

    -1: Westwood (68), Pieters (75)

    E: McIlroy (71), McGirt (74), Casey (69), Kjeldsen (71), Kuchar (71), Rahm (73)

    +1: Chappell (70), Walker (70), Dufner (70), Couples (74)

  • 00:20

    Well what an incredible day we have in store tomorrow.

    Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia will go out in the final group with Rickie Fowler and Justin Rose in the second last, as well as a host of big names in pursuit. Rory McIlroy is six shots behind but still, just about, in touch if he can fire a special final round.

    This is as exciting as it gets and surely shapes up to be one of the most exciting Sundays in Masters history.

    I shall be with you from two hours before the leaders go out for all of the thrills and spills under the Augusta sun.

    Philip Reid's day three report from the Georgia course will be online in the next 20 minutes so stay tuned for that.

    Thanks for watching, it's been some day and we have an even better one in store tomorrow, see you then, bye!