Patrick Reed maintained his lead after the third round of the Masters yesterday, but with Rory McIlroy only 3 shots behind, could we see a re-match of THAT Ryder Cup duel? Here’s what the leader board looks like heading into the final round at Augusta.
The 3rd round of the Masters had everything any sporting fan would want from a major championship, including the promise of a final round pairing that will see Patrick Reed and Rory McIlroy re-visit their unforgettable 2016 Ryder Cup match at Hazeltine.
Rory McIlroy’s form came at the start of the round, with birdies on the 3rd, 4th and 6th, though the peak of his round came at the par-5 8th hole where he slammed his third shot into the hole for eagle, momentarily putting him shared lead with Reed. McIlroy eventually closed his round by sinking a birdie putt on 18 and carding a 65 to take him 11-under par for the tournament.
In typical fiery Reed fashion, Reed responded to McIlroy’s charge with three consecutive birdies on 8, 9, and 10, then chipped in for eagle on 15, leaving everyone questioning whether the Masters scoring record was in jeopardy. Reed finally signed for a score of 67 yesterday, leaving him to lead the field at 14-under and three shots clear.
The 2018 Masters is most definitely not a two-man race just yet though, with Fowler, Rahm, Stenson, Fleetwood, Watson, and Leishman all following close behind. An eagle on the 2nd and five more birdies saw Rickie Fowler as an early contender as one of the primary challengers in Reed’s pursuit of a green jacket, finishing with a 65 in third position, one shot ahead of Jon Rahm. If it wasn’t for a few balls in the water, Rahm’s 65 could easily have reached closer to 60.
Paired with McIlroy, Stenson shot a 2-under par 70 to leave him in the top 5, whilst Fleetwood made a late surge on the back nine with five straight birdies from the 12th hole.
Bubba Watson had its lowest score of the tournament despite a trio of bogies. With seven birdies, the prior Masters champion finished at 6-under par for the tournament, tying with Marc Leishman who had a steady round of pars.
Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both finished yesterday at 5-under par after shooting 71 and 70 consecutively, leaving both players some work to do to keep their hopes of a green jacket alive.
If Saturday’s performance was anything to go by, then the final round of the Masters is likely to be nothing short of spectacular, and with their recent match-play history, a clash of personalities, and the very highest stakes, we can’t wait to watch the drama unfold on Sunday afternoon.
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