Day 1 leader Sergio Garcia dropped five shots in the last two rounds. Tiger Woods is four shots from the lead, and Brandt Snedeker and Angel Cabrera sit atop the leaderboard heading into the final round of action.
Does any of that sound familiar?
The Masters hasn’t exactly held a lot of huge surprises this year, but there’s been no shortage of excitement. Moving day facilitated plenty of movement on the leaderboard, though nothing compares to the unpredictability of Sunday at Augusta.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest storylines with the final round closing in and break down what to watch for when play begins.
Pairings to Watch (Full list can be found here)
|1||9:20 a.m.||Keegan Bradley|
|2||9:30 a.m.||Sandy Lyle||Tianlang Guan|
|3||9:40 a.m.||Phil Mickelson||Ryan Moore|
|4||9:50 a.m.||Michael Thompson||Ryo Ishikawa|
|5||10 a.m.||Peter Hanson||Carl Pettersson|
|6||10:10 a.m.||Thomas Bjorn||Scott Piercy|
|7||10:20 a.m.||David Lynn||John Peterson|
|8||10:30 a.m.||Trevor Immelman||Rory McIlroy|
|9||10:40 a.m.||Martin Kaymer||Paul Lawrie|
|10||10:50 a.m.||David Toms||Lucas Glover|
|11||11 a.m.||Vijay Singh||Richard Sterne|
|12||11:20 a.m.||Kevin Na||Brian Gay|
|13||11:30 a.m.||Henrik Stenson||Jose Maria Olazabal|
|14||11:40 a.m.||Stewart Cink||D.A. Points|
|15||11:50 a.m.||Branden Grace||Robert Garrigus|
|16||12 p.m.||Luke Donald||K.J. Choi|
|17||12:10 p.m.||John Huh||Ernie Els|
|18||12:20 p.m.||Charl Schwartzel||Bubba Watson|
|19||12:30 p.m.||Dustin Johnson||John Sendin|
|20||12:40 p.m.||Freddie Jacobson||Bill Haas|
|21||12:50 p.m.||Jason Dufner||Fred Couples|
|22||1:10 p.m.||Zach Johnson||Justin Rose|
|23||1:20 p.m.||Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano||Thorbjorn Olesen|
|24||1:30 p.m.||Bo Van Pelt||Sergio Garcia|
|25||1:40 p.m.||Jim Furyk||Nick Watney|
|26||1:50 p.m.||Bernhard Langer||Lee Westwood|
|27||2 p.m.||Rickie Fowler||Steve Stricker|
|28||2:10 p.m.||Tim Clark||Tiger Woods|
|29||2:20 p.m.||Jason Day||Matt Kuchar|
|30||2:30 p.m.||Adam Scott||Marc Leishman|
|31||2:40 p.m.||Angel Cabrera||Brandt Snedeker|
Angel Cabrera and Brandt Snedeker: 2:40 p.m. ET
Every group will be worth watching on Sunday, but the late pairings have the potential for the biggest fireworks. With Snedeker and Cabrera in the lead at seven under with the green jacket in their sights, this will be a premier pairing in the final round of play.
With a 2:40 tee time, there’s likely to be a new leader by the time the duo makes it to the tee box at No. 1. Eleven golfers currently sit within five shots of the lead, and given the final-round surprises we’re used to seeing at Augusta each year, Snedeker and Cabrera may find themselves battling to retake the lead in the final group of the day.
Tiger Woods and Tim Clark: 2:10 p.m. ET
Woods took a two-stroke penalty for an improper drop at No. 15 on Friday after his approach shot struck the flagstick and found the water. Despite those setbacks, the world’s No. 1 is just four strokes off pace.
Woods thrives on Sundays at Augusta. There isn’t a better final-round golfer on the planet, but history isn't exactly on his side. Woods have never overtaken a final-round leader when trailing Sunday in any major (via Rotoworld.com).
Bubba Watson and Charl Schwartzel: 12:20 p.m. ET
Bubba Watson and Charl Schwartzel aren’t exactly in prime position to make a run at the green jacket, but each knows what it takes to win at Augusta. Schwartzel fired a final-round 66 in 2011 to take home golf’s top prize, while Watson was the last man standing after a memorable sudden-death playoff victory in 2012.
Schwartzel (one over) and Watson (two over) each have some serious work to do on Sunday, but they tee off early enough to make a big move and put pressure on the later pairings. Masters winners have a decided advantage on Sundays at the Masters. Don’t expect either golfer to crumble under the pressure.
There’s typically a little more movement on moving day. We saw some incredible golf on Thursday and Friday, but Saturday’s round held a lot of disappointing scores and big numbers on the back nine.
If the course doesn’t play easier on Sunday, it’s going to be tough sledding for golfers who need to pick up five or more shots to move into the lead.
Rounds in the 60s won’t be easy to come by on Day 4, especially if the pin placement is anything like it was on Day 3. Augusta’s greens can be treacherous without perfect approach-shot positioning, meaning big numbers could once again pop up all over the course.
As daunting as Amen Corner can be, the first three holes on the front nine may ultimately be the deciding factor on Sunday. No. 4 and No. 1 have been the two more difficult holes at Augusta this year (respectively), yielding just 23 birdies and a massive amount of bogeys (157). Golfer who can avoid big numbers in the early going will have a decided advantage on Sunday.
The par-five second has yielded the least bogeys at Augusta thus far, but the par-five 15th is the hole to watch as the final groups come down the stretch. Of the 16 eagles on the back nine, 13 have come at No. 15.
Most Difficult Hole
The par-three fourth was easily the most difficult hole at Augusta in the first three rounds. With 240 yards from tee to green and bunkers guarding the front of the putting surface, getting up and down after an inaccurate tee shot is no easy task.
No. 4 has produced just eight birdies and an astonishing 82 bogeys through the first three rounds. A par at Flowering Crab Apple is far from guaranteed.
A Case for Snedeker
Snedeker is one of the best putters in the world. As long as he continues to play with efficiency and accuracy from tee to green, he’s going to be difficult to beat on Sunday.
The world’s No. 5 golfer is fourth in greens in regulation at Augusta through three rounds (72 percent), meaning birdies will be plentiful if he can get to the putting surface with continued ease on Sunday.
The Big Mover
Nothing can shake up the leaderboard like a timely eagle. Only a couple of holes have yielded seven or more eagles through the first three rounds (No. 8 and No. 15), but both holes are positioned for momentum-building numbers.
Saturday produced a total of just six eagles (25 in Rounds 1 and 2), and it may take considerably more low numbers to see a big shakeup in the leaderboard on Sunday. Keep a close eye on Yellow Jasmine and Firethorn.
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