Rose, Garcia Tied for Lead in Masters

St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), April 9, 2017 | Go to article overview

Rose, Garcia Tied for Lead in Masters


AUGUSTA, Ga. * Justin Rose charged from behind on the back nine at Augusta National. Sergio Garcia received the kind of break that allowed him to wonder if maybe the golfing gods are finally on his side after all these years.

They wound up tied for the lead Saturday on a tense afternoon that set the stage for a Masters finale still up for grabs.

As usual, that includes Jordan Spieth, two shots behind and in contention for the fourth straight year.

"Tomorrow is a huge day," Rose said. "I have an opportunity. That's all you want. But really, it starts on the back nine on Sunday. ... You're going to have to go out and play a good round of golf, and I think there's going to be four or five guys pretty much with the same mindset."

Rose could use another back nine like he had on Saturday.

He was five shots behind until a tee shot to the left pin on No. 12 landed 5 feet from the cup, starting his run of birdies. He picked up two more on the par 5s at No. 13 and No. 15 and finished with birdie putts of 20 feet and 12 feet on the last two holes for a 5-under 67.

Garcia hung his head in the 13th fairway when his 4-iron shot disappeared off a bank toward the tributary of Rae's Creek. Moments later, he realized the ball bounced softly enough off the side of the bank to stop halfway down. He chipped up to tap-in range, turning a potential bogey into a birdie.

"Fortunately for me, that bank seems to be a tiny bit longer this year, which is nice," Garcia said. "Because it gives you the possibility of getting a break like that."

The 37-year-old Spaniard finished off his round by clenching his fist when a 7-foot par putt dropped into the cup for a 70.

Garcia and Rose were at 6-under 210.

They had a one-shot lead over Rickie Fowler, who made birdies on all four of the par 5s to offset a few mistakes in a round of 71.

Fowler, a social media star who said earlier this week he probably hasn't achieved as much as he would have liked, never felt better going into the final round of a major, nor has he ever been so close to the lead with 18 holes to play.

He will be paired with Spieth in the penultimate group.

"I think it's going to be a long, hard-fought day," Fowler said. "I don't think anyone is going to put themselves far enough out front where they can cruise in. …

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