Masters Tracker: Day 3 at Augusta National

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 9, 2016, 3:00 pm

The 80th Masters Tournament is this week in Augusta, Ga. is tracking the first major of the season through on-site reporting and social media. For additional Masters coverage, click here for full-field scores. All-times for the Masters tracker are Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

7:31PM: Here's where the 80th Masters stands after three rounds. We'll see you tomorrow for the final round.

7:26PM: Well, that escalated quickly. Spieth (73) three-putts 18 for double bogey to finish at 3 under par. He leads Kaufman by one. Spieth lead by four coming off the 16th green, but finished bogey-double bogey.

7:24PM: McIlroy misses short birdie putt on 18. Brutal day for Rory (+2), no birdies and a 77.

7:18PM: Spieth with another poor shot. His third shot comes up well short. Long putt for par coming up.

7:15PM: And more tree trouble for Spieth on 18. This time he goes left. Meanwhile, Rory's in tight for birdie.

7:07PM: Spieth bogeys the par-4 17th. Drops back to 5 under par, still three ahead of Kaufman.

7:01PM: More history at stake for Spieth.

6:56PM: Spieth makes par on 16. Remains at 6 under par, but his drive on 17 goes way right into the trees.

6:53PM: Matsuyama pars 18. Shoots even par and finishes at 1 under, five strokes behind Spieth. Still, he'll be in the next-to-last group Sunday with Langer.

6:49PM: That didn't take long.

6:43PM: Back-to-back birdies for Spieth. With birdies on 14 and 15, Spieth reaches 6 under par, four shots clear of Kaufman.

6:40PM: Tough stretch for Matsuyama. Three-putt par on 15, three-putt bogey on 16 and a bogey on 17. Now 1 under par, four behind Spieth.

6:32PM: Willett just misses birdie on 18. Finishes at even par, five behind Spieth.

6:23PM: Birdie for Spieth: Jordan stuffs his approach to 7 feet on 14 and makes birdie. Back to 5 under par, three ahead of Kaufman and Matsuyama.

6:18PM: Matsuyama three-putts par-3 16th for bogey. He drops back to 2 under par with Kaufman, two behind Spieth.

6:13PM: Hey, Mr. DJ: Johnson gets up and down from a greenside bunker on 18 to finish at even par and he's only four back.

6:11PM: Spieth makes tough par putt on par-5 13th. Stays at 4 under par. McIlroy also makes par to stay at 2 over par.

6:07PM: Matsuyama three-putts the par-5 15th for par. He remains at 3 under, one behind Spieth.

5:59PM: Kaufman (69) just misses a birdie on 18. But he finishes at 2 under par and records the first sub-70 round since Thursday.

5:52PM: Langer (70) bogeys 18 to finish at 1 under. Playing partner Day (71) finishes at even par.

5:50PM: Spieth rebounds with a birdie on the par-3 12th. Lead back to 5 under par, two strokes ahead of Matsuyama, who birdies the par-4 14th for the second day in a row. Meanwhile, McIlroy misses a short birdie putt on 12 to remain at 2 over.

5:48PM: Not a good sign for Spieth ...

5:45PM: GMac weighs in ...

5:40PM: Wow, wow, wow. McIlroy (+2) makes a 10-footer for double on 11, and then Spieth three-putts for double, now 3 under and just one ahead of Kaufman, Langer and Matsuyama.

5:35PM: Yeah, about that ...

5:33PM: More ruh-roh for Rory: Finds the water on the par-4 11th.

5:31PM: Stats incredible!

5:23PM: Day bogeys the par-3 16th. He's also back to even par with McIlroy and Scott Piercy.

5:19PM: McIlroy's slide continues. Bogeys No. 10 and is now all the way back to even par, five behind Spieth.

5:17PM: Langer's birdie run ends on 16. He makes par to stay at 2 under, three behind Spieth.

5:13PM: Here comes DJ ... Johnson birdies the par-5 13th to move to 1 under par.

5:06PM: Just call him Birdie Bernhard... Three birdies in a row (Nos. 13-15) for the 58-year-old gets Langer to 2 under, three back of Spieth.

5:05PM: The leaderboard when the final group made the turn.

5:02PM: As the world turns... here's where things stand. And in this instance, "the world" obviously refers to Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy. Spieth turned in 35 (one bogey, two birdies) and McIlroy turned in 38 (two bogeys).

4:58PM: We bet Rory really wishes the anchoring ban hadn't gone into effect in January. First Adam Scott won twice on the Florida swing and now Bernhard Langer is a serious contender at the 80th Masters. Langer birdied 13 and 14 to get to 2 under on the day, 1 under for the tournament and in a tie for third (alongside McIlroy).

4:53PM: Count it! And don't count Jason Day out just yet...

4:49PM: What a Day! No, really. Jason Day just made back-to-back birdies at 13 and 14 to move to 1 under, four back of Spieth and into a tie for third.

4:48PM: BIRDIE FOR SPIETH AT 8. Spieth moves back to 5 under total, 1 under on the day, and is three clear of Hideki Matsuyama. McIlroy made par at No. 8 to remain at 1 under, four back of Spieth.

4:45PM: Meanwhile, Matsuyama's making moves. Say that five times fast.

4:42PM: They certainly aren't making it easy on themselves.

4:32PM: I see your putt. I mean point.

4:30PM: Seven not heaven. Rory three-putts for bogey to drop to 2 over on the day, 1 under on the tournament. Spieth misses the green (right greenside bunker), then fails to get up and down. Bogey drops Spieth back to even on the day, 4 under for the tournament.

4:26PM: Snedeker makes birdie at 8 to get back to even par for the tournament, just five back of Spieth.

4:22PM: Day and Langer fall six off the pace of Spieth after bogeys at the 12th.

4:18PM: was the worst of times

4:13PM: The par-ty continues. So do the par puns. At the par-3 sixth, Spieth and McIlroy both make pars. Spieth still 5 under, three in front of McIlroy who's at 2 under (and in solo second).

4:10PM: Maybe Poults is drowning his sorrows with Kevin Kisner, who's somewhere drinking beer and laughing.

4:01PM: Put 'er there, par-tner. That's two pars at the fifth for Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy. Spieth maintains his three-shot lead over McIlroy.

3:52PM: Meanwhile, Jason Day is doing Jason Day things. Drove it absurdly far on No. 10. The world No. 1 is 1 under on the round, even for the tournament and just five back of Spieth.

3:47PM: Scrambled eggs...ellent! Both Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy got up-and-down from short, left of the green to save par. Spieth (5 under) still leads McIlroy (2 under) by three.

3:43PM: Bill Horschel can't catch a break on major championship greens.

3:39PM: What was that?!?! Spieth knocks his tee shot on the par-3 fourth WAY left, off the grandstand. And moments later Rory does the EXACT same thing.

3:35PM: Advantage Spieth. Spieth saves par at the third while McIlroy makes bogey. Spieth stays at 5 under, McIlroy drops to 2 under and into a tie for second with Scott Piercy.

3:29PM: Your 2016 Masters champ?

3:22PM: One under-par-round has been recorded at Augusta on Saturday - Louis Oosthuizen in with a 71.

3:21PM: BIRDIE FOR JORDAN! We repeat: BIRDIE FOR JORDAN at the second. Par for Rory. Spieth now has a two-shot lead (5 under) over McIlroy (3 under).

3:12PM: Joking? We're pretty sure he's serious.

3:06PM: Taking that whole 'hold on, tight' thing to a new level, we suppose.

3:03PM: No blood at the first. Pars for both Spieth and McIlroy to remain 4 and 3 under, respectively.

3:00PM: Enjoy it while you can. We have a feeling this is going to change after Round 3.

2:50PM: It's go time.

2:44PM: Bernhard Langer birdies the fifth. He's 2 under on the day and in a tie for fifth. The man is 58 years old.

2:41PM: Larry Mize, the 1987 Masters champion, birdied his first three holes Saturday ... on his way to a 78.

2:35PM: More on Jeff Knox:

2:30PM: Justin Thomas shot 78 on Saturday and is currently tied for last place. He knows what the final groups are about to face.

2:28PM: Is it finally Sergio's time? Probably not.

2:20PM: From the random files of Dan Jenkins:

2:17PM: Louis Oosthuizen, a pre-tournament favorite, cards the first red number of the day. His 1-under 71 jumps from 47th to T-25, at 4 over.

2:07PM: In case you are wondering about Jeff Knox, the Augusta National club member and regular weekend Masters marker didn't play out every hole, so didn't post a score.

2:02PM: We currently have five players under par for the day right now, including Bernhard Langer. The 58-year-old, two-time Masters champion is 1 under on the day and even par for the tournament.

1:52PM: Bubba being Bubba ...

1:50PM: One hour! We are one hour away from Spieth-McIlroy.

1:45PM: Golf Channel's Todd Lewis reports that the Masters' Competition Committee was "concerned" about how wind is affecting balls on the green. They feel like if they can get through the next 20 minutes that the winds will die down a little and things will be fine.

1:43PM: In anticipation for the Spieth-McIlroy pairing, here are some interesting numbers:

1:40PM: Bill Haas eagles the 13th, but not with a putter ...

1:33PM: Bubba Watson bogeys his final hole for a 4-over 76. He was playing alongside marker Jeff Knox, in 3 hours and 38 minutes, but likely won't be in last place come Sunday. Justin Thomas is currently one shot worse with two holes to play.

1:30PM: Jason Day begins the chase. He's on the course, at 1 over par and five off the lead.

1:22PM: Kevin Streelman joins Jamie Donaldson as the only players currently under par in Round 3. Streelman eagled the second.

1:18PM: Today is Seve Ballesteros' birthday. The two-time Masters and three time Open champion would have been 59.

1:12PM: Congrats, Jamie Donaldson! You are the only player (of the 35 to play a hole) under par for the day right now. Here's how he got into red figures:

1:08PM: Duval also added this:

1:05PM: "It's brutal." That's how David Duval described Saturday conditions at Augusta National. Wind gusts are expected to reach 30 mph, with temperatures in the 50s.

12:42PM: Some early highlights from Round 3. Check out that flag in the wind! Enjoy the day, fellas.

12:29PM: Rafael Cabrera-Bello is 2 under through three. He's to 1 over par and just outside the top 10.

12:15PM: And as long as we're doing Tom Watson deep dives:

Weezy, anything to add?

12:10PM: In case you missed it last night, Joe Posnanski captured Tom Watson's final round at the Masters. Joe, who has some special insight into Watson, provides a look into the mental and emotional makeup of one of golf's all-time greats. In short, Tom Watson's work ethic made him a legend, and his reserve kept him at arm's length. He didn't have the outgoing personality of an Arnold Palmer or Lee Trevino. Watson kept more to himself, and he stayed true to himself to the end on Friday.

Story here: Watson was never cuddly; he was just that good

11:50AM: An odd number of players (57) made the cut, meaning marker Jeff Knox is back in action. The Augusta National member who bested Rory McIlroy in the third round in 2014 is playing with Bubba Watson in the first pairing off this morning.

Bubba just made the turn at 3 over.

Knox with Rors back in 2014:

11:45AM: Few things in life like a good pin sheet. Round 3 hole locations:

11:40AM: More on Mize.

Also, because we're here:

11:25AM: Forgot about Dre Larry Mize. The 57-year-old, 1987 Masters champion opened his round with three straight circles thanks to a 62-foot birdie bomb on the third green.

He then bogeyed No. 4 ... but three straight birdies!

11:15AM: Here we go again. We're back with Day 3 of our Masters Live Tracker, bringing you the best news, notes and oddities from Saturday at Augusta National.

On deck today, will the Jordan Spieth-Rory McIlroy pairing live up to the hype? Will stiff winds once again frustrate our leaders? Can guys like Sergio Garcia, Jason Day, Dustin Johnson or even Bryson DeChambeau climb to the top of the board? Will Bubba Watson beat marker Jeff Knox? All that and more.

And here ... we ... go ...

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McIlroy 'happy to be back', can 'empathize' with Tiger

By Associated PressJanuary 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – After a long layoff from golf, Rory McIlroy has some newfound sympathy for Tiger Woods.

The 28-year-old Northern Irishman is making a comeback at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship after ending his season early last year. He has not played a round since the final day of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Oct. 8.

McIlroy, a four-time major champion who has slipped to No. 11 in the world rankings, last won the Tour Championship on the PGA Tour in September 2016. He injured a rib in his first outing of 2017 – at the South African Open – and felt its after-effects throughout the year.

McIlroy, who has seven top-five finishes in his last eight starts in Abu Dhabi, said Tuesday he felt mentally low because of his physical issues.

''Honestly, I was excited to be done. I could have shut it down after the PGA Championship very easily and taken the rest of the year off, but I didn't. I played six events after that, played OK and had a chance to win one of them,'' McIlroy said. ''But I was just excited to take that time off and get myself just sort of a re-set.''

Last week, McIlroy also revealed that he has a minor, non-threatening heart condition that needs regular check-ups.

''After that 3-plus months of a re-set, I'm very happy to be back. I felt like I needed it physically and mentally. I just felt like it was a little bit of a sabbatical. I've been out here for 10 years, and I want to get ready for the next 10.''

McIlroy compared his situation to what Woods has been going through.

''I've only been through, maybe, not even 5 percent of what he's had to go through. And you can tell from where he was to where he is now mentally, because of physically where he is ... he's a totally different person,'' McIlroy said. ''Of course, I empathize with him, and I know he was in a dark place there for a while. It's just so great to see him out of that and back and excited to be playing golf again.''

The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship will be the first of back-to-back events for McIlroy, who is also playing next week in Dubai.

''I think the next two weeks will be a big learning curve, just to see where I'm at,'' McIlroy said. ''I'm obviously coming into the events trying to play as well as I can and trying to compete and trying to win, but I think there will definitely be things I'll have to work on going into that stretch in the States.''

The tournament, which starts Thursday, has attracted some big names, including top-ranked Dustin Johnson, No. 6 Justin Rose, No. 9 Henrik Stenson, No. 14 Paul Casey and No. 15 Matt Kuchar. No. 18 Tommy Fleetwood is the defending champion.

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Pre-tourney caution be damned: Stenson rides camel

By Grill Room TeamJanuary 16, 2018, 3:29 pm

If you were under the impression Henrik Stenson's days engaging pre-tournament hijinks at HSBC-sponsored events were over, then you don't know the Swedish Superman.

Ahead of this week's HSBC Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, the 2016 champion golfer of the year decided to have some fun riding (and pretend-spanking) a camel:

If you can't imagine any reason Stenson wouldn't get on a camel, we will point you to the WGCC-HSBC Champions back in October, when Stenson, Dustin Johnson, Haotong Li and Hideki Matsuyama took place in this hire-wire act:

Two weeks later, Stenson revealed a rib injury, and a report from the U.K.'s Telegraph stated "that not only was the Shanghai caper to blame, but that Stenson is annoyed about being persuaded to do it in the first place."

Stenson brushed back at that report in this Instagram post, saying that his "comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal."

I’m disappointed to have to pre-emptively withdraw from the Nedbank Golf Challenge Hosted by Gary Player, I was looking forward to this important year-end event on the European Tour. At this point I am back home in Orlando waiting to do a scan on my ribs and get the necessary rest. I am still hoping for a quick recovery and have not ruled out playing in Dubai next week at this point. My comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal. The plan as of now will be to participate in the DP World Championship if my body is back to 100%. H

A post shared by Henrik Stenson (@henrikstenson) on

And it would appear he genuinely meant those comments, at least enough to get on a camel.

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Spieth, McIlroy to support Major Champions Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:25 pm

Nick Faldo announced Tuesday the creation of the Major Champions Invitational.

The event, scheduled for March 12-14, is an extension of the Faldo Series and will feature both male and female junior players at Bella Collina in Montverde, Fla.

Jordan Spieth, Rory Mcllroy, Annika Sorenstam, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Jerry Pate and John Daly have already committed to supporting the event, which is aimed at mentoring and inspiring the next generation of players.  

“I’m incredibly excited about hosting the Major Champions Invitational, and about the players who have committed to support the event,” Faldo said. “This event will allow major champions to give something back to the game that has given them so much, and hopefully, in time, it will become one of the most elite junior golf events in the world.”

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Rosaforte: Woods plays with Obama, gets rave reviews

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:15 pm

Golf Channel insider Tim Rosaforte reports on Tiger Woods’ recent round at The Floridian in Palm City, Fla., alongside President Barack Obama.

Check out the video, as Rosaforte says Woods received rave reviews from instructor Claude Harmon.