Masters Separates Contenders Pretenders

By Associated PressApril 10, 2004, 4:00 pm
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Make way on the Masters leaderboard. Here come Paul Casey and Bernhard Langer - and they're bringing Kirk Triplett and Fredrik Jacobson along for the ride.
Look out below. There go Justin Rose and Jose Maria Olazabal, with Alex Cejka and Charles Howell III right on their heels.
The Masters may not start until the back nine Sunday, but it started taking shape during the pivotal third round. Never was moving day a more appropriate moniker than this Saturday at Augusta National.
Now we know the contenders. Now we know the pretenders.
Rose certainly falls into the latter category. The 23-year-old Englishman led after each of the first two rounds, defying his status as the youngest pro in the field. Alas, he wilted under the bright glare of a Masters weekend, tumbling through the field with a monumental collapse.
Rose bogeyed the first three holes - more bogeys than he had in the first two rounds combined - and it didn't get any better from there. Six more bogeys. Not one birdie. An 81 that tied a tournament record for the worst third-round score by a 36-hole leader.
Only Lee Trevino, who shot 81 in 1989, was ever this bad.
'I said to someone that no matter what happens, today was going to be a great learning experience,' Rose said. 'It's not the end of the world. But it hurts.'
While moving day takes away from some, it gives to others.
Casey, only three years older than his countryman Rose and playing in his first Masters, opened the tournament with a 3-over 75 but has proven to be a quick learner. A 69 Friday kept him alive for the weekend; a 68 Saturday made him a full-fledged contender.
He'll begin the final round just two strokes behind co-leaders Phil Mickelson and Chris DiMarco.
Casey's pedigree hardly hinted at this sort of performance. In his previous five majors, he missed the cut four straight times before finishing 66th at last year's PGA Championship.
'I just approached this one different than how I approached majors in the past,' Casey said. 'I put too much pressure on myself in the past.'
He invited over some family and friends from England, set up a pingpong table at his house and drove up Magnolia Lane one day with the stereo blaring the 'Caddyshack' soundtrack.
'These are events that every professional golfer would dearly love to win,' Casey said. 'I almost tried too hard. This week, I'm very relaxed. I think I'm approaching things the right way.'
With two green jackets already, Olazabal sure knows his way through the azaleas and Georgia pines. But his local knowledge wasn't very apparent Saturday when the Spaniard staggered to a 79, his worst Masters score since he was a 21-year-old playing the tournament for only the second time in 1987.
Olazabal's iron play was atrocious - he hit only eight of 18 greens in regulation - and he couldn't bale himself out with a putter.
Not a good combination at Augusta.
'I missed a lot of irons and gave myself some difficult positions,' Olazabal said. 'The putting is not working well. That's about it.'
Langer surged into contention for a third Masters title with a 69. He was just three strokes off the lead, giving himself a chance to break Jack Nicklaus' record as the oldest Masters champion.
'That's the great thing about golf,' said the 46-year-old Langer, who is five months younger than Nicklaus was in 1986. 'If you stay in shape, work hard on your game, you can still compete. Jack showed it.'
Cejka was still hanging around until the final hole. He hooked his tee shot into the woods and couldn't find it, forcing him to take a stroke penalty and tee off again.
His fourth shot sailed into the right bunker and he couldn't get up and down, settling for a triple-bogey that left him with a 78.
Howell, who grew up five minutes from Augusta National, would dearly love to add one of those garish green jackets to his outlandish wardrobe. Not this year. He soared to a 76, the lowlight coming at 11 when he curled his approach into the water and took double bogey.
'Obviously, I'd like to go out tomorrow and shoot a low score,' Howell said. 'Gee, I love this place, I love this golf course, I love this tournament.'
Triplett quietly crept into contention. He closed the front side with three straight birdies, finished with a 69 and went to the final day just four strokes back. He's trying to win his first major at age 42.
Sweden's Jacobson, who barely made the cut after a 74-74 start, was only five strokes back after shooting 67 - the best score of the day.
'Certainly, to get in red numbers and shooting the score I did today, I have a chance,' Jacobson said.
That's what moving day is all about.
Related links:
  • Leaderboard - The Masters Tournament
  • Full Coverage - The Masters Tournament
  • Masters Photo Gallery
  • Arnold Palmers 50th Masters
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    DEFCON Tiger: Woods' Saturday lights Twitter ablaze

    By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 22, 2018, 8:15 pm

    Tiger Woods grabbed the Tour Championship lead and the sports world by the throat Saturday, making birdie on six of his first seven holes in his third round and sending social media into a frenzy.

    Here's a sampling from athletes, journalists and celebrtiies, and we'll start with two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry.

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    Lewis fires 61, two behind Herbert in Portugal

    By Associated PressSeptember 22, 2018, 8:13 pm

    VILAMOURA, Portugal – Tom Lewis came within two shots of tying English countryman Oliver Fisher's European Tour record on another day of low scoring at the Portugal Masters on Saturday.

    Lewis returned a 10-under 61 in the third round, just 24 hours after Fisher carded the first 59 on the circuit. Lewis moved to two strokes behind leader Lucas Herbert of Australia.

    Lewis acknowledged the thought of another 59 crept into his mind: ''It's something I noticed with three holes to go. I wasn't that bothered at the end of the day.

    ''I'm pleased that I shot 10 under par. I can only continue to make birdies and see what happens tomorrow.''

    Herbert, who is playing off invites this season as he looks to earn his full tour playing privileges, shot a 64 for a 19-under total of 194.

    Fisher took 10 more strokes than he did on Friday and was in a group on 14-under 199.

    Sergio Garcia of Spain, trying to find form ahead of next week's Ryder Cup, was on 204 after a 68.

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    Tiger Tracker: Tour Championship

    By Tiger TrackerSeptember 22, 2018, 7:25 pm

    After grinding out a 68 on Friday, Tiger Woods is trying to get the lead all to himself in Round 3 at the Tour Championship. We're tracking him.

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    Highlights: Tiger's seven Saturday birdies so far

    By Nick MentaSeptember 22, 2018, 7:08 pm

    Tiger Woods entered Saturday tied atop the board and wasted little time taking the outright lead at East Lake.

    Woods moved clear of the field with this birdie at No. 1, whipping the Atlanta crowd into an early frenzy.

    Following a 4-foot par save at the second, Woods moved ahead by two and reached 9 under par when he played this approach from 144 and sank this 8-footer for birdie at the third.

    One hole later, Woods reached double digits at 10 under par when he poured in a bending 21-footer that just crept over the lip.

    He made it four birdies in his first five holes when he bombed a 320-yard drive, wedged to 7 feet, and converted again.

    He looked in danger of not capitalizing on his first crack at a par-5 after he came out of a fairway wood on his second shot, but a splash from the bunker and a make from 6 feet gave him his fifth circle in six holes.

    He went Vintage Tiger at the seventh, playing this fairway bunker shot from 172 yards to 5 feet, setting up his sixth birdie in his first seven holes and advancing him to 13 under, five clear.

    Looking to make the turn in 29, Woods instead missed the green at the par-3 ninth, failed to get up and down for par, and had to settle for 5-under 30.

    Following pars at 10 and 11, he started looking this approach up and down at the 12th, leading to his seventh birdies of the day.