The leaders tee off in the 3rd round at Masters

Ross Houston
April 9, 2017

In any case, Garcia followed a bogey on No. 13 with birdies on Nos. On Sunday he shot 1-under-par 70.

This is the fifth and final year of Els' exemption from winning his fourth major at the 2012 British Open.

"Anything's possible out there but I feel like I'm playing well enough and I'm in a good frame of mind where I can go out there and attack and make some birdies".

Spieth: No offense to Hoffman, but Spieth has been the most compelling character to this point.

Jordan Spieth (68) was two shots back and will be in the penultimate group Sunday.

And American Fred Couples, the 1992 victor turning back the clock at age 57 with three birdies in the first five holes, was on one-under with 10 to play.

In all, it's one of the Masters' most crowded leaderboards heading into Saturday's third round.

Hoffman shot a 7-under 65 on Thursday to take a four-stroke lead.

Garcia, who continues to search for an elusive first major title, fired a three-under 69 to move to a four-under 140 total. A top-12 finish will earn him a spot in the Masters next year.

Masters rookie William McGirt, of Spartanburg, who was second after the first round, is tied for 11 at even par after shooting 74 on Saturday that included bogeys on Nos.

Fowler had the day's lowest score after mixing five birdies with a bogey on another chilly, windy day at Augusta National and the world number eight expects ideal conditions over the final two rounds to make for an exciting finish.

FADING PHIL: Phil Mickelson looked ready for a patented Masters charge Saturday when he opened with birdies on the first and second holes. Spieth remained at even par through two holes.

The fun will continue on Sunday when Fowler will play with good friend and compatriot Jordan Spieth and he credits hard work with his fitness trainers for his increased comfort levels. "I've shown myself many times after that I can contend and I truly feel I cannot only win one (major), but more than one". Fellow Longhorn Jhonattan Vegas shot a 76 for a 10-over-par total of 154 and missed the cut.

Rickie Fowler of the United States (left) and Sergio Garcia of Spain during the BMW Championship tour event.

The leaders will tee off in about 90 minutes.

Rickie Fowler can't think of a much better position to be in at the Masters - or a better time to try to win his first major championship. He holed a bunker shot for a birdie on the par-5 second shot and added a birdie on the third hole to quickly get to 3 under for the round and 2 under for the tournament.

Garcia intends to take a better frame of mind into this weekend than his defeated statement reflected five years ago. He trails the leaders by four strokes as only nine golfers are in red numbers.

The wind began to subside as the pines cast long shadows across the course late in the afternoon, and the forecast is close to perfection for the rest of the weekend, with mild temperatures and hardly any wind.

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