Spieth finishes bogey-double, but still leads Masters


For much of the afternoon, it looked like Jordan Spieth might run away and hide at the Masters. But after a sloppy close, the defending champ is left to cling to a one-shot lead heading into the final round at Augusta National:

Leaderboard: Jordan Spieth (-3), Smylie Kaufman (-2), Hideki Matsuyama (-1), Bernhard Langer (-1), Jason Day (Even), Dustin Johnson (Even), Danny Willett (Even)

What it means: Spieth started the day with a one-shot lead, and after a run of back-nine birdies he boosted his advantage to four shots with three holes to play. But Spieth bogeyed No. 17 and made a clumsy double bogey on No. 18, signing for a 1-over 73 that brought a handful of contenders back into the mix with one round to play.

Round of the day: Kaufman carded a 3-under 69 in blustery conditions, the first sub-70 round since Thursday. The Masters rookie recorded four birdies against just a single bogey, including three birdies in a four-hole stretch from Nos. 13-16. After starting the day five shots off the pace, Kaufman will now join Spieth in Sunday's final pairing and trails by only one.

Best of the rest: Langer had both of his green jackets won before Spieth was even born, but he once again turned back the clock with a 2-under 70. The German had six birdies on the day, including a chip-in on No. 14, to put himself firmly in contention as he looks for a third green jacket that would equal the likes of Nick Faldo and Phil Mickelson.

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Biggest disappointment: The day began with promise of a Spieth-McIlroy showdown, but only one player delivered. McIlroy failed to make a single birdie all day en route to a 5-over 77. McIlroy went off the rails with a bogey on No. 10 followed by a double on No. 11, and at 2-over 218 he now trails Spieth by five shots heading into the final round.

Main storyline heading into Sunday: The focus will remain on Spieth, but there are several more storylines in play than might have been the case had Spieth led by four. Kaufman seeks a breakthrough win, Matsuyama looks for major validation, Langer could become the oldest major champ on record and big names like Day and Johnson are still within striking distance.

Shot of the day: After watching his playing competitor Day jar a 69-foot birdie on No. 14, Langer stepped up and calmly holed a birdie chip of his own. It was the middle highlight of a run of three straight birdies that brought the German into red figures for the week.

Quote of the day: "I've just got to absolutely throw this away. I've got to throw away the finish to this round, and pretend that everyone is tied." - Spieth