Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia top all-star leader board at Masters

England's Justin Rose is co-leader of the 2017 Masters with Sergio Garcia going into the final round after a stunning outing of 67 today.

The pairing of 2015 Masters victor Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler fizzled.

Jordan Spieth, however, knows what it feels like to do both.

"I think that the key to the strong finish was the patience that I showed on the front nine", he said. "Rickie is a very confident player".

Garcia knows the golf gods aren't going to gift him his first major title Sunday at Augusta; he'll have to rely on himself and his own game to earn that elusive achievement. "I've got three rounds to go". I was looking for 2 under a side and that's what I got. Yet the four-time major champion, playing his ninth Masters, is acutely aware of the size of the challenge he faces.

"Everybody has a storyline and I'm not even touching upon past champions who are right there, as well". Pieters shot 75 and is tied with Lee Westwood at 215, two shots behind Adam Scott and one behind Charl Schwartzel, two former Masters champions. "I plan to play aggressive at this point". "Everybody knows with this back nine anything can happen". Hoffman lost his lead when he made double bogey on No. 16.

Rose began the day tied with Garcia, but he trailed the Spaniard by three shots after five holes. With a par-bogey start on the hole this week, Garcia found the right second cut off the tee and then hit what he thought to be a good second shot, only to have it come out "soft" and end up short of the green. "Yeah, I don't think I helped him whatsoever on the round".

He eagled the 15th, with Rose birdieing the par-five, bringing the pair together again on 9-under. Garcia made an improbable par at the 13th after taking a penalty drop, and Rose three-putted for par. He's two shots out of the lead held jointly by Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose. Jordan Spieth got his name high on those famous white leaderboards, the only spot he has ever occupied on the weekend at the Masters.

"We were playing well, but we weren't really making inroads towards the lead, and chose to stay patient, because that's the only choice that we really have, and it kind of paid off".

He will be paired with Spieth in the penultimate group. The pair are both seeking their first major victories. Garcia occasionally has ruefully questioned fate, but saw a sign that maybe the stars are aligning his way this time.

Garcia has never cracked 70 in a Masters third round, going a combined 38-over par in prior third rounds for an average score of 75.

"Should be a great match-up in the last group", Garcia said.

Much like Garcia, Fowler was made to dig deep at times during his one-under round of 71. He is prepared to mix patience with aggressiveness during what figures to be a shootout on Sunday. "Not like some of the guys that say they don't look at the leaderboards, which I'm not so sure I believe", he said.

He is much more mature than he was at 19, doing an airborne scissors kick to see the result of a shot during the 1999 PGA Championship. "I think had I been two or three shots behind, I still would have felt that I was in great position going into (Sunday), which leads me to understand everybody's mindset behind me. And if I can shoot 66 or 65, that's really possible out there, it'll give me a chance".

  • Julie Sanders