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.
When assessing Sunday's Masters contenders, @NickFaldo006 just slipped in "Six back is doable." Love it. He would know...— Alex Myers (@AlexMyers3) April 7, 2018
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.
Masters 2018: Phil Mickelson | 8th Hole, Round 3 pic.twitter.com/j8NZqBWm2Y— Masters Highlights (@MastersMoments) April 7, 2018
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.
"Finding out Man Utd won 3-2 today walking up the 7th was quite good a tension reliever" says @McIlroyRory 😃— Phil Casey (@pcaseysafc) April 7, 2018
STATISTIC OF THE DAY
Patrick Reed enters the final round with a three-stroke lead. One more sub-70 score and he'll be the first in Masters history with four rounds in the 60s.— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelTAN) April 7, 2018
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.
Masters 2018: Phil Mickelson | 1st Hole, Round 3 pic.twitter.com/RVYmBFFMjW— Masters Highlights (@MastersMoments) April 7, 2018
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.
Masters 2018: Patrick Reed | 15th Hole, Round 3 pic.twitter.com/Jd1Xd3W7l9— Masters Highlights (@MastersMoments) April 7, 2018
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.