Masters 2013: Updates on Golf's Top Storylines at Augusta
The 2013 Masters has provided some compelling entertainment so far.
No tournament has the same allure as The Masters. The other three majors are great, but there's just something different about the Augusta National Golf Club.
Coming into the third round, you watched to see if Fred Couples could maintain his place near the top of the leaderboard. He wasn't able to create the same kind of magic this time around, losing five strokes and falling back into a tie for 18th.
Aside from Couples, there were plenty of things to follow on Saturday. If you missed the third round, here are the biggest developments entering the final round on Sunday.
Who's leading going into the final round?
Brandt Snedeker and Angel Cabrera both shot three-under 69s in the third round to take a co-lead at seven under for the tournament.
Cabrera finished strong, getting birdies on 16 and 18. Expect him to hang around on Sunday. As the 2009 Masters champion, Cabrera knows exactly what it takes to earn a green jacket.
For Snedeker, his third round was a case of being steady and picking the right spots. He avoided anything lower than par on each of the 18 holes, while birdieing 13, 15 and 16.
Third place belongs solely to Adam Scott. Like Snedeker and Cabrera, Scott finished with a three-under 69 for the day.
Jason Day dropped to five under for the tournament after a one-over 73 third round, and fellow Australian Marc Leishman shot even par to stay at five under.
How did Tiger Woods do and can he win?
The biggest news of the day happened before anyone stepped onto the course. Tiger Woods was penalized two strokes for taking an illegal ball drop on the 15th hole in the second round (h/t Rachel Nichols and Steve Almasy of CNN). Some thought Woods should have been disqualified or even disqualified himself as a result of turning in an incorrect scorecard.
Instead, Woods played the third round and ended up with a two-under 70. He finds himself four shots behind Snedeker and Cabrera for the lead.
Woods has made it a habit of putting together masterful final rounds. At this point, it's out of his hands, though. He'll need to muster up every bit of luck he has in order to win his fifth green jacket.
Will Rory McIlroy solve the puzzle that is the weekend rounds at Augusta?
In 2011, Rory McIlroy shot an eight-over 80 in the final round at Augusta. A year later, he shot a combined nine-over 153 in the last two rounds. In both cases, that poor play undid all of the work McIlroy had done up to that point.
He had some demons to exercise at the 2013 tournament. Unfortunately for McIlroy, this year was just more of the same.
The back nine was horrendous for the 23-year-old. A triple-bogey on 11 and a double-bogey on 15 were the low points of a round where McIlroy shot a seven-over 79.
Coming in at two under on the day, a Masters title was unlikely; however, it was fair to expect McIlroy to move himself up somewhere near the leaders.
Being so far back in the pack, the only thing he's left playing for at this point is pride. The biggest legends have all had their moments at Augusta. The fourth round can allow McIlroy to save some face and start getting back on track in order to win a Masters title down the road.
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