Justin Rose had been on the lookout for a wire-to-wire victory on the Masters. Now his possibilities to win are hanging by a thread.
The 40-year-old Englishman sank an extended par putt on the 18th gap Saturday to fireside a degree par 72 for the second straight day at Augusta National and watch Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama seize a four-stroke lead on 11-under 205 with a surprising 65.
Rose shares second on seven-under 209 after 54 holes with Australian Marc Leishman and Americans Will Zalatoris and Xander Schauffele coming into Sunday’s last spherical.
“All the guys chasing at 7-under par are all capable of that little run that Hideki has had, so it’s all up for grabs tomorrow,” Rose mentioned.
Reigning Olympic champion Rose, whose solely main win got here on the 2013 US Open, started with back-to-back birdies however had bogeys on the fourth and fifth holes and solely performed degree par the remainder of the way in which.
“You start birdie-birdie, it doesn’t really mean much,” Rose mentioned. “This golf course, you’ve just got to keep playing it. Hideki has got to keep playing it.
“There’s probably not a linear development to 12-under par or no matter you may have to be. You know there’s going to be these dips and peaks and valleys on the market.”
Rose found that the hard way when he birdied the par-3 12th to retake the outright lead at 8-under.
Seconds later, Matsuyama eagled the par-5 15th to seize the outright lead and kept it the rest of the round.
“I’ve been enjoying with the lead the entire week, and clearly there’s been an hour of golf the place Hideki has kind of moved on the market in entrance,” Rose said.
Two-time Masters runner-up Rose said the secret to fighting back Sunday would be driving.
“Probably drive it higher,” Rose said. “The drives that hit the golf green have been a little bit spinny as properly, so I wasn’t actually connecting with the again of the ball simply as I would love.”
A 78-minute storm delay swept out brisk winds and left the rain-drenched course vulnerable. Matsuyama adapted well to the change and charged. Rose struggled to read greens that had been like lightning and were slowed.
“It was a really completely different really feel,” Rose said. “There was kind of like 30 or 40 minutes the place it was fairly calm, wasn’t any rain, course softened up, and there was a chance, clearly as Hideki proved, to make some birdies.
“You had to make an adjustment. The greens slowed up a good foot, so everything changed a little bit.
“I truly did not putt it nice for 3 or 4 holes, however then lastly received my eye again in and received in contact with the velocity once more and putted nice coming in fortunately, as a result of I had struggled a little bit bit.”