Rose, Garcia tied for lead at Masters in prelude to finale


The star-studded leaderboard provides a string of storylines after the traditional "moving day" at the Masters lived up to its billing - Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia have a share of the lead on 6-under after round three.

Sticking with bad backs, Dustin Johnson bruised his falling down stairs at his Augusta rental home less than 24 hours before his scheduled first-round tee time, which he never made.

Garcia, at times, showed terrific imagination in conjuring up a round of 70 - especially at the Par 5 15th where he deftly chipped from over the back of the green to two feet for a birdie, and then saved par coming in when using a fairway metal from off the 16th green. Now, a second Masters title is right there in front of him. The ensuing double bogey dropped him out of the lead and he finished his round at 4-under.

"The course offers you a run around the par-fives", Rose told reporters. Hoffman has four holes remaining in his round.

Before sitting down for his media session on Saturday evening, Spieth gave the scoreboard to his left a long look.

Legs that could carry Garcia to a green jacket on Sunday.

"This is Jordan Spieth's fourth Masters".

He steadied himself with a 69 on Friday and then broke out big on Saturday. Spieth admitted it wouldn't have been such a bad idea, noting that in the previous two years he had gotten up and down for birdie to that same hole location.

Ernie Els will be playing with a marker in what could be his final round at the Masters.

It was posted on the massive white scoreboards all around Augusta National, a mistake Garcia himself spotted. The Big Easy had three double bogeys, and it got ugly at the end.

"I took advantage and the last two birdies put the cherry on the cake".

"To wake up with a chance to win your favorite tournament and to have a fourth opportunity now, I didn't know going into my first one if I'd have five chances in my life".

It wasn't all great for everybody at Augusta on Saturday. "I'm looking forward to it". That includes Garcia, who has had close calls in every major he has played except the Masters - until now. He finished with a 75 and is five shots back at one under.

More news: Rouhani's main rival registers to run in Iranian presidential election

If you're wondering, no one has ever won the Masters with a triple bogey on his scorecard.

Jordan Spieth, who began the day 10 shots off the lead, made spectacular par saves and five birdies got him within two strokes of Rose and Sergio Garcia. William McGirt can't seem to match his excellent first round.

The Texan was 10 shots adrift of Hoffman's lead after round one, largely courtesy of that nine on 15, but he has made steady progress through the field. He was tied with Garcia, Fowler and Pieters after 36 holes.

The day started with Hoffman, Garcia, Fowler and Belgian-born Thomas Pieters at 4 under.

In about five hours, there could be more clarity - or simply more chaos at Augusta National. Two veteran Masters champions, Fred Couples and Phil Mickelson, 57 and 46 respectively, started Saturday in contention but faded.

It certainly fired up Mickelson, who opened with birdies on the first and second holes to move to 2-under as those watching applauded wildly.

SHOT OF THE DAY Spieth hit a 5-iron off the pine straw and over the tributary of Rae's Creek on the par-5 13th to 30 feet.

Confident American Rickie Fowler, another player in pursuit of his maiden major title, was not at his striking best but still managed to produce a round of 71 that leaves him just one shot behind the leaders.

Former world No. 1 Jason Day has found his stride at Augusta National.

The third round is nearing its conclusion but already some significant movements on the leaderboard have taken place with holes to go.

"I'm proud that I pulled that shot off", Spieth said.

The leaders will tee off in about 90 minutes.