3rd round at Masters a day of wasted chances for McIlroy

The 2015 Masters champion had a run of five birdies in 10 holes to get himself to a stroke behind leader Charley Hoffman late in third round.

Ellie Day spent some time adjusting her husband's frame of mind.

"After the first round, I couldn't ask for much better than this, " Spieth said.

World number three Jason Day of Australia was so upset after his first two Masters rounds that wife Ellie was ready to slap him to snap him out of it. While it still leaves the one-time top-ranked player in the world with work to do to make an impact on the championship, Day's happy to see some good scoring on his card.

Garcia, who has never won a major, has never been closer than fourth heading into the final round in his previous 18 Masters appearances.

Willett knew he needed some help from the "golfing gods" to avoid suffering the same fate as 2003 champion Mike Weir, but his long wait ultimately proved in vain - although he will stay until Sunday to present his successor with their green jacket.

Day, 29, nearly missed the cut with a second round 76 on Friday following his 74 in Thursday's first round. "I'm playing well", Mickelson said.

Hoffman opened on 65 to grab a four-stroke lead, the biggest at Augusta since 1955, only to find it gone with the wind after a 75 Friday. Couples was one of three players from the 50-and-older crowd who advanced to the weekend. I know you can't miss there (left of the green).

One that Day took advantage of as the round progressed.

Rose, who became the first English victor of the US Open for 43 years at Merion in 2013, carded a third round of 67 to finish six under par, a total matched by Ryder Cup team-mate Sergio Garcia.

Jordan Spieth is 4 under through 13 holes to tie for second, two shots behind Hoffman.

Spieth just missed the eagle putt and tapped in for birdie.

Garcia birdied the first three holes in a round at Augusta National for the first time Friday and hit what he called the best bunker shot of his life, which lipped out from a plugged lie to save par on the 12th hole. The quadruple-bogey led to a 78 that kept him from returning for the weekend by a single stroke.

Day recalled a round at the John Deere Classic when he was first on the course and shot a 72 in just under 2 hours.

"I made a few errors", Hoffman said. "Certainly saved one there; I wasn't necessarily expecting that".

The Australian star has his fingers crossed that a full day of sun would firm up greens that had been more receptive and have the field potentially coming back toward him.

Asked about joining Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazabal as Spanish champions at Augusta, Garcia - who was leading amateur in 1999 when Olazabal won his second title - added: "It would be wonderful, something hard to describe, but we still have one day to go". "Guys can either melt down or guys can from behind the win big". "I fought back tremendously to have a chance to win this golf tournament, and no matter what happens at the end, we will have a chance to win with a really good round [Sunday]".

He will for sure ease up on the expletives he used after Friday's round. Not even Rory McIlroy's quest for a career grand slam of titles could match the dream of a Spanish succession at the Augusta National Club.

Ellie had some pointed advice for that, too. "His short game gets better under pressure".

  • Julie Sanders