AUSTRALIA has a great chance of snaring its first ever US Masters green jacket with three of our golfers in the top five going into the final round.
Things could have been even better with two late bogies by overnight leader Jason Day costing him at least a share of the final round lead, but that may well be a blessing in disguise.
As it stands things aren’t so rough with Adam Scott (69) in outright third on 6-under a stroke behind the joint leaders and Day (73) and first round leader Marc Leishman (72) sharing third on 5-under.
Day was handling the pressure of leading the Masters superbly with 12 straight pars before birdieing the 13th. He surrendered his lead with bogey three putts on 17 and 18 but that may give him time to mull over the issues involved and come out even stronger in the final round.
The leaders are America’s Brandt Snedeker (69) – in superb form earlier in the year before sitting out several weeks with a rib injury – and Argentinian 2009 champion Angel Cabrera (69) on 7-under.
“To win the Masters would be incredible. It would be great for Australia,” Scott said. “We’ve never looked better odds-wise going into the final round, other than that one year in ’96 [When Greg Norman blew a six shot lead]. It’s going to be a great final round.”
The Australians are among 15 players within six shots of the leaders, a group that includes Matt Kuchar (69) at 4-under par and Tiger Woods (70), who is tied with Tim Clark (round of the day 67) at 3-under par.
Woods again finds himself mired on controversy after he was penalised two strokes overnight for an incorrect drop on the 15th hole in the second round.
That’s the hole where his pitch hit the flagpole and rebounded into the water hazard. Woods took his drop from a couple of yards back when according to the rules he should have taken it at its original location.
Talk about one unlucky break turning a tournament. Now many are saying he should have been disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard, or should at least have disqualified himself on discovering his mistake. Even if he ends up winning it will be illegitimate in many eyes and would mar his 15th major.
Hopefully it will be a great day for Australian golf early Monday, with the live television action (in glorious standard definition) getting underway at 4am on Channel 10.
Scott will play with Leishman in the second last grouping (4.30am AEST)with Day paring Kuchar (4.20am AEST).
John Senden shot a third round 75 and is tied for 23rd on 1-over.2013 US Masters Leaderboard
Scott will play with Leishman in the second last grouping with Day paring Kuchar.