AUGUSTA, Ga. – Even though the wind subsided as the leaders played the back nine, Augusta National played as difficult as it had all week during the third round of the Masters.
Here are some of the numbers:
• The scoring average was 75.719, more than a half stroke higher than Friday (75.022) and more than a stroke and a half more difficult than the opening round (74.090). It is the highest single-round scoring average since the third round in 2007 (77.350).
• Incredibly, nine holes surrendered three or fewer birdies in Round 3. That includes the 455-yard first hole and the 459-yard 18th, both of which yielded only a pair of birdies.
• The toughest hole Saturday was the 434-yard seventh, which featured an uphill approach to a front hole location. There were 24 bogeys and six others there, adding up to a 4.58 scoring average.
• Just five players broke par in the third round. The best score was shot by Smylie Kaufman, a Masters rookie, whose 69 vaulted him into the final group with Jordan Spieth.
• The par 5s, as you might expect, played as some of the easiest holes on the course: The 581-yard second (easiest), the 506-yard 13th (second-easiest), the 574-yard eighth (third-easiest) and the 522-yard 15th (fifth-easiest).
• Easy, perhaps, for those not named Danny Willett, who might be leading if he learned how to score on the par 5s. He has yet to birdie any of the 12 par 5s he’s played so far. In fact, he is 2 over par on those holes this week.
• For the week, no hole has played tougher than the 505-yard 11th hole. Only eight birdies have been made there this week, with 15 doubles and three others. Spieth, the leader, made double there in the third round.