Saturday is 'Moving Day' at the Masters, though that doesn't always mean players are going in the right direction on the leaderboard!
Bubba Watson had started out with a three-shot lead but a score of 74 means the 2012 champion now has to settle for a share of the lead with fellow American Jordan Spieth, who defied his lack of experience around Augusta to keep himself firmly in contention.
The duo sit one clear of Matt Kuchar and Swede Jonas Blixt, but there are plenty of others who will fancy their chances still heading into what will surely be another dramatic finale to the first major of the year...
Mark Roe, Paul McGinley and Butch Harmon discussed an “enthralling day” and made a case for an English winner of the Masters. Lee Westwood, Justin Rose and Ian Poulter will all hope to produce something special on Sunday, with McGinley believing the three Ryder Cup stars could yet come up trumps. “They are a little bit away from the leaders, but not too far. What they are going to have to do tomorrow is shoot a low score, something between 65 and 67”. Butch, meanwhile, admitted Watson “didn’t have it” on Saturday, particularly on the tough greens at Augusta.
Shots of the day
Scoring has not been easy throughout the week, though that doesn't mean the players don't produce moments of magic to strike back against the course. Rose appears not once but twice in our round-up of the best shots from the third round, including a lovely finish for eagle at the 13th. Thomas Bjorn also makes an appearance, while fellow Scandinavian Blixt comes mightily close to salvaging his par from the drop zone having made an unfortunate splash.
Bubba not worried
Watson's 74 was a struggle, particularly on the greens. However, the left-hander refused to be too concerned by slipping back towards the pack even if at one stage he had found himself FIVE shots clear of the field during his front nine. Instead the American looked back on a clutch putt at the last to save par and was in a rather philosophical mood in his post-round interview, saying: "If I shoot 90 tomorrow I still have a green jacket." True, Bubba, but it is always nice to have another in the wardrobe, isn't it?
While Watson regressed in round three, Spieth carded a 70 to leave himself in with a real chance of making Masters history. Tiger Woods holds the record as the youngest winner of the tournament having done so at the tender age of 21 back in 1997. Spieth, though, is still only 20. He will also bid to become the first player to win on their maiden appearance at Augusta, something not achieved since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979. Understandably, the current Rookie of the Year on the PGA Tour expects to have to deal with a few nerves during the last day.
‘Big Mig’ be the man?
Spieth is not the only player with a real chance of re-writing the Masters record books - Miguel Angel Jimenez could yet become the oldest man to don a Green Jacket. The 50-year-old Spaniard finds himself right in the thick of things after a round-of-the-week 66 that included a run of five birdies in seven holes after the turn. ""If you are 50 it doesn't mean that you cannot play well. I'm still moving. I'm still flexible. I hit the ball longer than ever. I'm competitive you know," said Jimenez, who emphatically proves that age is no barrier to being successful in the modern game
Westwood in contention
The beauty of the Masters is you never quite know how far back a player can come on the last day to win it. At two under, Westwood is still well within striking distance as he bids to finally end his long wait for a major. The 40-year-old countered two bogeys with four birdies to sign for a score of 70. Could Sunday finally see the man from Worksop celebrating? He certainly believes it to be possible, saying: "The Masters is one of my favourites, it's a great place to come it would be nice to be coming back with a green jacket."
Like fellow Englishman Westwood, Poulter also managed a round of 70 on Saturday. Unlike his countryman, though, he was not so upbeat. The always honest Arsenal fan - who surely at least raised a smile during the day after his football team saw off Wigan to progress through to the FA Cup final - was left "disgusted" with himself for repeating the mistakes of previous days. Still, at level par there is still hope that Poulter could be all smiles on Sunday evening instead.