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Rose clings to Masters lead as Spieth, Thomas give chase

Justin Rose carried a one-stroke lead into Saturday’s third spherical of the Masters with main winners Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas on his heels and thunderstorms within the forecast.

Play started with gentle winds and overcast morning skies at Augusta National with Rose teeing off at 2:20 p.m. (1820 GMT) within the remaining group alongside American Will Zalatoris.

“Day three plays pretty difficult here at Augusta National,” Rose mentioned. “You just have to keep hitting the shots.”

The 40-year-old Englishman is making an attempt to grow to be the sixth wire-to-wire Masters champion after Americans Craig Wood (1941), Arnold Palmer (1960), Jack Nicklaus (1972), Ray Floyd (1976) and Spieth (2015).

Rose, twice a Masters runner-up, gained his solely main title on the 2013 US Open. He has led or shared the Masters lead after seven profession rounds, probably the most of any participant by no means to win a inexperienced jacket.

World quantity 41 Rose may grow to be the primary Englishman to win each the US Open and Masters and be part of Ben Hogan as the one gamers to win majors at Merion and Augusta.

Rose opened with a seven-under par 65 in agency and quick situations and struggled to a 72 Friday to stand on seven-under 137 after 36 holes, one stroke forward of Zalatoris and Brian Harman with Spieth and Australian Mrc Leishman two adrift and Thomas in a pack three again.

“You can see the leaderboard and who is stacking up behind,” Rose mentioned. “I feel like there’s a lot of firepower there.”

Thomas, the 2017 PGA Championship winner, will overtake Dustin Johnson to grow to be world primary if he wins the inexperienced jacket after defending champion Johnson missed the reduce.

“I definitely have left a lot of shots out there the last two days,” Thomas mentioned. “But I’m in a great position.”

Three-time main winner Spieth leads greens reached in regulation with 30 of 36, two higher than Rose and Thomas, and snapped a four-year win drought final week in San Antonio.

Only twice since 1960 has a participant gained the Masters the week after a US PGA Tour victory — US left-hander Phil Mickelson in 2006 after a triumph in Atlanta and Scotland’s Sandy Lyle, who gained at Greensboro the week earlier than taking the 1988 Masters.

Spieth had not gained since capturing the Claret Jug on the 2017 British Open at Royal Birkdale till the Texas Open, however likes the sluggish and regular enchancment he sees in his sport and desires to see Augusta National at its most formidable.

“I’m happy that the golf course has the opportunity to play more and more difficult over the weekend,” Spieth mentioned. “I’m looking forward to that kind of challenge, and I think that could be an advantage to me if I’m in control of the ball.”

It may not occur. Thunderstorms are predicted for late afternoon, when the ultimate teams will probably be on the again 9, and will soften the lightning-fast structure.

– A Masters debut winner? –

Not since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979 has a participant gained the Masters in his debut, however that is the feat Zalatoris hopes to obtain at age 24.

“The joke I’ve been saying with my family is if I’m stupid enough to think I can play here, then I’m stupid enough to think I can win it,” Zalatoris mentioned.

South Korean Kim Si-woo, who broke his putter on the fifteenth gap Friday however joined Thomas within the 140 group, used a 3-wood to putt on the final 4 holes and parred all of them.

He has a reserve putter prepared for spherical three, one which helped American Pat Perez win at Mayakoba in 2016.


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