Moving Day of a golf tournament can be a fun and joyous occasion or a bittersweet ending—Day 3 at the Masters had both as it should.
Bittersweet Moment #1: Rory McIlroy
The kid so many people wanted to see win a Green Jacket after last year’s meltdown on the back nine shot a 5 over par, 77 today. He nearly holed out on the 18th hole from the fairway, leaving a tap in putt—he held his putter like Happy Gilmore to tap the ball in for birdie—showing he maintained his sense of humor through a difficult day of golf.
He shot 42 on the front nine…
Bittersweet Moment #2: Sergio Garcia
McIlroy was paired with Sergio Garcia. They were interviewed together after the round and Sergio said something about their bad holes were very bad and even their good holes were bad. Neither one could get anything going.
At one point, they both birdied the par 3, 12th hole. Sergio walked over to Rory on the green and they exchanged a big hug. Laughing about it was all either could do to maintain their sanity!
Sergio shot a +3, 75 to be one under for the tournament and in a tie for 19th.
Bittersweet Moment #3: Freddie Couples
Freddie fought back, but was unable to keep his Masters magic working. He started his round bogey, bogey and then double bogeyed the 5th hole. Digging himself out of a +4 start is difficult, but Freddie buckled down and birdied 8, 11, and 12 before he struggled again on 15 and 16. He shot 3 over, 75 and sits in a tie for 11th place at 2 under par for the tournament.
Joyous Occasion #1: Phil Mickelson
Phil shot 30 on the back nine for a 6 under par, 66. If you look at Phil Mickelson’s scorecard, see below (photo is not currently linking), you will see a lot of blue. Blue is good for this particular scorecard on PGATour.com. It means he’s birding holes and the darker blue means he made an eagle.
Phil started off shooting even par on the front nine. Going birdie, par, birdie, eagle to start off the back nine will send the crowds cheering at Augusta and the roars will be heard throughout the golf course. He even birdied the 18th hole for the third time this Masters!
Phil is on a roll…watch out!
Joyous Occasion #2: Peter Hanson
From the replays I saw of Hanson’s round, he had at least three approach shots that were inside of 5 feet from the pin, two of those were inside of three feet. When you’re striking the ball that well at Augusta, magic can happen and he shot the best round of the tournament so far, a 7 under par 65 to give himself a one shot lead going into the final day.
He birdied five of his last 7 holes…amazing when you think of the holes he played and how the pressure only builds in golf tournaments.
The only blemish on his scorecard came on the first hole which he bogeyed. He went on to birdie the following hole, nice bounce back!
Joyous Occasion #3: Bubba Watson
Bubba has a lot to be thankful for this Easter. He and his wife Angie are new parents to one month old Caleb.
He shot a 2 under par 70 today, including a 7-8 foot birdie putt on 18 to put himself within three shots of Hanson and set himself up for a chance on Sunday.
This could be Bubba’s turn at a Major Championship…
He said, “It’s going to be a tough challenge, but I have a chance.”
A chance you do, Bubba. Good luck!
What’s going to happen?
Over the last 21 years, the Masters Champion has come from the final group 19 times. This means there is a fairly good chance that either Peter Hanson or Phil Mickelson could be presented with Green Jackets at the end of the day. If Phil wins, this will be Masters win number 4.
It’s going to be quite the battle to the finish. The golf course will not be set up in a friendly way on Sunday. Look for the pins to be in their usual Sunday location. The course is firming up a bit.
Leaderboard After Day 3
||Peter Hanson (Sweden)
||Phil Mickelson (USA)
||Louis Oosthuizen (S. Africa)
||Bubba Watson (USA)
||Matt Kuchar (USA)
||Lee Westwood (England)
||Padraig Harrington (Ireland)
||Henrik Stenson (Sweden)
||Hunter Mahan (USA)
Melissa writes about golf and the University of Michigan hockey team. Check out her site here for follow her on Twitter @TheYostPost.