Masters 2014: 10 things to know about the third round
Bubba Watson still holds the lead but Jordan Spieth shares it with him and Matt Kuchar and Co. are right on their tails. Saturday was fun, Sunday should be even better.
Moving day at the 2014 Masters felt a lot more eventful than it actually was. When the dust settled our second round leader led after three rounds, too. Well, he shared the lead with a certain 20-year-old Texan.
A lot happened in between, though.
Let's take a look:
1. Bubba Watson's trials: We knew Bubba would be bumpy coming in over the final 36 but Saturday was a total roller coaster. He ended his 296-hole streak without a three putt on No. 8 and then proceeded to do it twice in the next holes.
The oddest part of Saturday was that Watson played the par 5s in 2 under but both of those three putts came when he was on the green and looking at eagle so it felt like a lot worse.
Still, he only dropped two shots with a 74 that included five bogeys and he'll be paired with Jordan Spieth for the final round.
Watson said after his round that maybe he got his "bad round" out of the way and I think there might be something to that. Still, it's Bubba and nothing is ever predictable when it comes to Bubba.
2. Speaking of Spieth: Spieth shot a third-round 70 that included slick birdies at Nos. 14-15 and par coming in. The 20-year-old cares very little for your tension, moving day. He hit every shot he needed to hit and when it looked like he was on the verge of collapsing on the second nine, he hung on to get to the final 18 with a share of the lead. It might be a circus coming home tomorrow but the kid is a gamer.
No matter what happens, he's put on quite a show.
3. Couples hangs on: Fred Couples said he was going to lower his two-year third round average of 76 on Saturday and he did just that by posting 73 in the third round. He'll only be four back when the day starts on Sunday.
4. Miguel Angel Jimenez is Spanish for badass: Or something like that. The interesting one was the leader in the clubhouse for a long time after his early-Saturday 66. A run by him on Sunday would be a thing of beauty. Well, I guess that depends on what your definition of beauty is.
May that Miguel Angel Jimenez graphic never update again pic.twitter.com/GSSxgwwpTk— Eric Kay (@ekaycbs) April 12, 2014
5. What happened to Scott? The defending champ went out in 40 (!) but came home in a respectable 36 and remains six back. He won't defend but he could make some noise in the middle of the day on Sunday.
6. Spieth was scary off the tee but great overall: Jordan Spieth scares the crap out of me with his driver. It doesn't feel like he ever knows where it's going and his reactions don't help. Speaking of reactions, he needs to tone the drama down a little bit, we've got all the Bubba we can handle.
But all in all he was spectacular. He cares not about the pressure and could supplant Tiger as our youngest Masters champion in history.
7. Big names lurk: Some pretty interesting names posted decent rounds and will be ready to pounce if the leaders falter. Lee Westwood is 2 under after a 70, Justin Rose is 1 under after a 69, and Jim Furyk is 2 under after a 72. Westwood and Rose would be making history by coming from further than six back after the second round. But there's history there to be made.
8. Fowler intrigue: I'm pretty interested to see what Rickie Fowler has in the tank on Sunday. He's not a particularly accomplished golfer but he is a beloved one. Will the Augusta crowds carry him to a green jacket? I'm worried he might have thrown his best round out there on Saturday but he sounds pretty confident.
9. The course was great: For all the talk of the weekend being crazy difficult, scoring was actually slightly better on Saturday than it was on Thursday and Friday. That's a good thing -- the Masters is supposed to be about birdies and eagles, not a replication of the US Open.
10. Saturday was really, really fun: Who needs Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson? From Miguel Angel Jimenez to Rickie Fowler to Jordan Spieth to Bubba Watson, Saturday was an absolute blast.
And Sunday will only be better.
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