Masters 2022: Top Storylines to Watch for in Round 3 on Saturday

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistApril 9, 2022

Masters 2022: Top Storylines to Watch for in Round 3 on Saturday

0 of 3

    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Scottie Scheffler laid down a 36-hole score that the rest of The Masters field might not have an answer for.

    The No. 1 men's golfer in the world holds a five-stroke lead over four other golfers heading into Saturday's third round. 

    Scheffler created separation between himself and the field with a five-under 67 on Friday that followed up a solid three-under 69 from the first round. 

    Scheffler and 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel will take to Augusta National Golf Club at 2:50 p.m. ET in the final pairing of the third round. 

    Schwartzel and Scheffler were two of six golfers to card a score under 70 during Friday's second round in which the windy conditions got the best of most participants. 

    A low third-round score is required for Schwartzel, or any other golfer, to put Scheffler under some sort of pressure heading into Sunday.

Can Scottie Scheffler Keep Up His Strong Form?

1 of 3

    Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    Scottie Scheffler is the hottest golfer on the planet. 

    The No. 1 men's golfer in the world entered The Masters with three wins in his last five starts. 

    Scheffler backed up that form with a 69-67 opening to the weekend. The second-round score allowed him to open up the five-shot gap on the rest of the field. 

    Scheffler used fantastic third-round scores to get ahead of the field in his pair of stroke-play victories on the PGA Tour.

    He carded a third-round 62 to take control of the WM Phoenix Open and a Saturday 68 to move up the leaderboard at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. 

    Those two low rounds combined with his pair of scores at Augusta suggest Scheffler will continue his strong run of form into Saturday's third round. 

    Scheffler has not had many bad rounds over the last five tournaments, and we will likely see that trend keep up on Saturday. 

Which Players Make the Best Runs at Scheffler?

2 of 3

    Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

    There is a bevy of major-winning experience beneath Scheffler on the leaderboard. 

    That is an ideal scenario for neutral fans who want to see The Masters come down to the back nine on Sunday afternoon.

    Charl Schwartzel, Shane Lowry and Hideki Matsuyama all have major victories on their resumes, while Sungjae Im took second at Augusta two years ago. 

    The collection of four golfers at three under appear to be the biggest threats to Scheffler, but a few other names should be considered in that conversation.

    Dustin Johnson, who won the green jacket in 2020, is lurking at two under. He went low with a 69 in the opening round. 

    Justin Thomas might continue his surge up the leaderboard as well. He used a five-under 67 on Friday to go from the edge of the projected cut line into the top 10. 

    Collin Morikawa has not been talked about much yet this week, but he is worth keeping an eye on throughout Saturday's round. 

    The two-time major champion shot one of the rare under-par rounds on Friday to move into a tie alongside Thomas and a few others in 10th place. 

    If Scheffler gets off to a slow start, any of those experienced golfers could take advantage of his shortcomings and close the gap. 

What Will Tiger Woods Produce on the Weekend?

3 of 3

    Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press

    Tiger Woods made the cut at The Masters after over a year off the course. 

    Woods' second-round 74 was three shots off his first-round pace, but it was still a promising round out from the 46-year-old. 

    Woods is nine shots back of Scheffler, and he will likely not contend for the green jacket, but he still has plenty to play for over the next 36 holes. 

    The five-time Masters champion should use the next two days to test his body to see what he can do physically over a four-day tournament. 

    A top-10 finish is not out of the question since Woods is two shots behind the group that includes Justin Thomas and Collin Morikawa. 

    A decent third round could set the tone for an early afternoon stroll around Augusta on Sunday that serves as an appetizer to a potential title fight in the final groups. 

    If Woods continues to play well, he could gain a good amount of confidence heading into the next three majors of the season.