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The Masters – Story of the third round

McIlroy heads into day four in pursuit of a career grand slam.

Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed set up a mouth-watering repeat of their Ryder Cup showdown as damp conditions failed to prevent fireworks in the 82nd Masters.

And while Reed will start the final day with a three-shot lead on 14 under par, McIlroy will arguably have the momentum in pursuit of the win he needs to complete a career grand slam after a dramatic finish to a roller-coaster third round at Augusta National.

Reed responded to seeing McIlroy erase a five-shot overnight deficit by firing a hat-trick of birdies from the eighth and then making two eagles in the space of three holes on the back nine.

That took the 27-year-old five shots clear once more, but a three-putt bogey on the 16th gave the chasing pack renewed hope and McIlroy took full advantage with a birdie on the last.

TWEET OF THE DAY

To those thinking it’s a two-horse race, Nick Faldo makes reference to his final-round comeback against Greg Norman in 1996.

SHOT OF THE DAY

Phil Mickelson had started with an air-shot and triple-bogey seven on the first, but when faced with an uphill second shot of 270 yards on the eighth, opted to hit a driver off the deck and produced a superb approach which finished just eight feet from the hole.

ROUND OF THE DAY

Overnight leader Reed responded to seeing his five-stroke lead wiped out in eight holes and shot 67 with two eagles, but McIlroy edges it with a 65 which relied on a little bit of luck but some fantastic short game skills to keep it bogey-free.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Manchester United fan Rory McIlroy finds time amid the excitement to check the football scores.

STATISTIC OF THE DAY

TOUGHEST HOLE

The opening hole played to an average of 4.302, giving up just two birdies and seeing a triple bogey from Phil Mickelson, who had an air-shot after hitting a tree branch on his downswing while attempting a trademark recovery shot.

EASIEST HOLE

Patrick Reed made one of the two eagles and Rory McIlroy one of the 27 birdies on the par-five 15th, which played to a scoring average of 4.434 and saw just one player make bogey.

ON THE UP

Rory’s mind-game skills as he was quick to suggest all the pressure would be on Reed in the final round, even though he himself is attempting to win the career grand slam only achieved by five other players.

ON THE SLIDE

Marc Leishman’s prospects of following compatriot Adam Scott in winning the Masters after a third round which featured no birdies, one bogey and 17 pars.

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