Masters Leaderboard 2012: Contenders Who Will Make a Move on Day 3

Scott Semmler@@ScottSemmler22Analyst IIApril 7, 2012

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 07:  Justin Rose of England lines up a putt on the second green during the third round of the 2012 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2012 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Moving day at Augusta National seems to be unlike any other moving day at a PGA Tour tournament, and Saturday at Augusta should be no different.

With 19 players within just three strokes of the lead entering Day 3, we can expect some fireworks by the time the sun sets on Saturday in Georgia.

Of the players within three strokes of the lead, several have been playing extremely competitive golf as of late. Hunter Mahan, Nick Watney and Bubba Watson have all been consistently at the top of the leaderboards this season, and it is nice to see their games translate from just another PGA Tour stop to the bright lights and precision play of the Masters and Augusta National.

Here are three players we should see place themselves into contention to win the Masters after Day 3.

Hunter Mahan

Arguably the best golfer on the PGA Tour right now, Mahan came into the Masters as the highest-ranked American golfer in the world. No pressure, right?

Mahan has taken that title and placed himself into contention to win another tournament this week at Augusta.  

He has one of the best swings in golf right now, and he has matched that with a consistent iron game from the fairway and a putting game that has only furthered his game this season.

The biggest reason why he can have a tremendous Day 3 at Augusta is the simple fact that he is one of the best drivers of the golf ball in the field this week. That isn't likely to change anytime soon and it will greatly benefit him on Saturday at Augusta National.

Lee Westwood

For how close Westwood has been in the Masters over the past few years, it is about time he takes home the Green Jacket he has been coveting.

Westwood has the game, there is no discussion about that. However, he seems to slip away when it counts most. Nevertheless, it is obvious we will see him in contention on Sunday no matter what.  

If he can get off to a quick start on Saturday and stay consistent on the back nine—which has caused him problems—then he should be able to ride that momentum to the top of the leaderboard entering Sunday's final round.

Justin Rose

Rose has had one of the better seasons on the PGA Tour this season and already has a win under his belt this year.

What Rose has going for him on Saturday is his consistency. He has fired two consistent rounds of 72, and moving day at Augusta would be the quintessential moment to make a move on the field and place himself in contention entering Sunday.

If the field starts to come back to Rose, watch out for him to use that consistent golf game—both off the tee and on the green—to launch himself into a very nice Day 3.


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