Rose, Garcia tied for lead at Masters in prelude to finale

  • Rose, Garcia tied for lead at Masters in prelude to finale

Rose, Garcia tied for lead at Masters in prelude to finale

Spieth was joined at four-under 212 by fellow-Americans Ryan Moore and Charley Hoffman, the journeyman who led the tournament after a sparkling first-round 65 but dropped three shots over Saturday's closing holes to slip down the leaderboard. "We need one more day of it", Spieth said.

Fowler, who was in the top five at each of the four Majors in 2014, but has never been in lead at halfway stage at a Major.

Danny Willett became the first defending champion to miss the cut in the Masters since 2004 as Sergio Garcia set his sights on an overdue maiden major title at Augusta National. "After the first round I couldn't ask for much better than this".

Fowler floundered early and was one over through 10 holes.

Not since a storm-struck Masters 44 years ago ended in a Monday finish had so many people shared the midway lead.

Jordan Spieth, the 2015 victor who was the 54-hole leader each of the past three years, will start Sunday two shots behind the leaders, getting himself into contention with a 4-under 68.

"Being in contention and getting the job done at Honda just recently and playing well in these last few events has taught me to stick to my game plan", said Fowler. "He deserves it", Rose said. He is prepared to mix patience with aggressiveness during what figures to be a shootout on Sunday. "You can't really try and get too much out of this golf course. We chose to be patient with it and even though it doesn't always work, it did today".

One day after making history as the first Mid-Amateur champion to make the Masters cut in 28 years, Stewart Hagestad continued his solid play Saturday, shooting a 2-over 74 to stand at 5-over. Spieth looked done on Thursday with an opening 75 that included a quadruple-bogey 9 on the 15th hole. Mickelson was one shot behind until he sputtered down the stretch with three bogeys and two par saves over his last five holes for a 73.

A host of big names - including second-ranked Rory McIlroy, reigning Olympic champion Justin Rose and past Masters winners Adam Scott, Phil Mickelson and Jordan Spieth - lurk within five strokes, setting up a mouth-watering weekend showdown in calmer conditions.

The English golfer dropped a shot on the par-three sixth, before coming home with six birdies in the last 11 holes.

Rose, who became the first English victor of the US Open for 43 years at Merion in 2013, carded a third round of 67 to finish six under par, with halfway joint leader Garcia shooting 70.

"Moments present themselves on Sunday here - it is about being patient".

The 29-year-old Australian then caught fire on the back nine with four birdies in succession from the 12th, before a bogey on the 17th took some of the gloss off the day and left him three over par.

"Jose sent me a lovely message on Wednesday night, and you know, he has a good touch when it comes down to those things". At other places you can back off a bit and cruise, here if you have got a chance to go for it you have to pull off the shot. As the top-ranked player amidst the current crop of contender in Augusta, Fowler is in a prime position to secure his first major title. This is a relatively comfortable position for the 2015 Masters champion, playing for his second green jacket, though he remains aware that it is also an opportunity to cement his elite status.

Further birdies on the eighth and 12th provided hope, but he could not add any more to close the gap on the leaders.

"Oh, I just didn't want Jeff to beat me, right".

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