Hoffman leads but Spieth lingers at the Masters

AUGUSTA GA- APRIL 07 Thomas Pieters of Belgium waves on the 18th green during the second round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club

AUGUSTA GA- APRIL 07 Thomas Pieters of Belgium waves on the 18th green during the second round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club

Justin Rose and Jordan Spieth were the key movers as the cream rose to the top in the third round of the US Masters at Augusta National. And Mickelson got off to a positive start with a rousing eagle on No. 2 and a birdie two holes later.

Rose was optimistic about his chances of claiming the coveted green jacket by winning, but was grateful just to be in with a chance.

But a miserable spell in his second round, which saw him drop five shots in six holes, threatened to derail his tournament altogether. "I sort of got the balance right today, but I didn't take my opportunities when I could have".

"I have very nice and special memories because of the people I've played with, for what Severiano (Ballesteros) meant to me and to world golf", he said in reference to his late countryman, who won two green jackets in the early 1980s.

His back nine was filled with pars except on the two par fives. It's the first time in his four appearances that he has not played in the final group at the Masters. The Northern Irishman moved into red figures with birdies on two and three, only to bogey five and rack up an ugly six on the seventh, sending him back to plus two for the tournament. Moments later, he realised the ball bounced softly enough off the side of the bank to stop halfway down.

He was some 40 feet short and ran the first putt 10 feet by.

Leonard Shapiro of the Washington Post passed along post-round reaction from Garcia, who said the wind played a role in being unable to build off his strong start.

Jordan Spieth was asked why he has been so good at Augusta, in contention for the fourth consecutive year. They are at 6-under 210 for 54 holes.

Rickie Fowler finished a shot back, while Jordan Spieth carded a 68 to move level with fellow Americans Charley Hoffman and Ryan Moore on four under. Fowler and Spieth in the penultimate group.

Edmonton Oilers fans making noise in San Jose
The Sharks came up with three power play goals by the second of the second period while building a 6-0 advantage. He has quietly been one of the NHL's best goaltenders in the playoffs, despite his relative lack of experience.

One day after making history as the first Mid-Amateur champion to make the Masters cut in 28 years, Stewart Hagestad continued his solid play Saturday, shooting a 2-over 74 to stand at 5-over.

Perhaps the most daunting name at Augusta National was Spieth, who began this Masters with a quadruple-bogey 9 on the 15th hole of the opening round and was 10 shots out of the lead when he trudged off the course on Thursday. Spieth, who was T41 after the first round, started Saturday at even par and is 4-under through 13. The winds caught up with Lefty during a middle stretch where he made four bogeys in seven holes.

Spieth won the Masters two years ago and was runner-up last year after losing a five-shot lead on the back nine.

While Rose, who is playing in his 12th Masters, is thrilled to be at the top of the leaderboard after three rounds, he knows all too well that no lead is safe.

"Jose sent me a attractive message on Wednesday night, and you know, he has a good touch when it comes down to those things".

Charley Hoffman was tied for the lead until he found the water on the par-three 16 hole, leading to two dropped shots - the American is two shots off the pace.

He's three-under par overall and only three shots off Hoffman's lead.

That won't make it any less exhausting, not with 15 players separated by only five shots.

"Disappointed to finish like that, but I'm still within five of the lead going into the weekend with better conditions on the way", said McIlroy, who needs a win this week to complete a collection of all four of golf's major titles.

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