Saturday was a day full of surprises at the Masters, with the biggest one being the play of Phil Mickelson.
Mickelson shot a third round score of six-under 66 to put him one shot behind leader Peter Hanson, who shot a 65 himself. What was most impressive about the feat of Mickelson was that he did it all on the back nine, with four birdies and an eagle to shoot a 30. His putting has really elevated his game to another level, as all golfers know it doesn't really matter if one can hit a great tee and approach shot if they can't make the putt to go along with it. Given his experience of having played the golf course so many times along with having won the Masters on three different occasions to this point, I think it is safe to say that Phil will be the favorite to win heading into Sunday, even though he is in second place right now.
That is not to take away from the play of Peter Hanson, though, as Hanson played an ever better round than Phil did. Could he be this year's Charl Schwartzel? I wouldn't rule anything out right now, but the chances of him winning are slim in my opinion. He has just come off one of the best rounds of his career at a major, and will be in the final group tomorrow with none other than Phil Mickelson. It is very difficult to follow up a great round of golf with another one, especially with the pressure of winning the green jacket on the line and the crowds that Phil will have with him.
Along with Hanson and Mickelson, another player that I wouldn't count out to win the Masters on Sunday is Louis Oosthuizen, who is currently in third place at -7 overall. Even though he finished the day with a disappointing bogey, Louis shot a solid round of 69 on Saturday and I think he still has the capability of going low on Sunday. Out of the top three players after day three, Oosthuizen ranks highest in greens in regulation at 74%, and is tied with Hanson in fairways hit at 83%. The only thing that is really standing in his way from going low is his putting, in that he will need to take more advantage of his approach shots if he wants to keep up with the other two and even surpass them on Sunday.
Ryan Kekoufski is a scratch golfer who has both played and watched the sport for well over a decade. He covers sports for the Yahoo! Contributor Network, and currently resides in Virginia.
- Sports & Recreation
- Peter Hanson
- Louis Oosthuizen