It's Masters week and there are a ton of stories going on all at once, so in an effort to condense things for you, here are five things we learned from Saturday's third round.
Peter Hanson can play — Even if he doesn't end up winning the Masters, Peter Hanson is a name we should all remember going forward. A quarter-finalist at the Accenture Match Play, the Swede has been playing at a high level for the last couple of years, but on Saturday at the Masters, he found another gear with a 7-under 65 that included five birdies over his final seven holes. Not to discount the round, but it's easy to score well when the entire world is watching the big names on the leaderboard. He won't have that luxury Sunday playing in the final group with Phil Mickelson. Even if Hanson can't close the deal to become the first Swede to win a major championship, he showed us a lot of game this week.
Don't forget about Bubba Watson — Nothing about the way Watson has been playing recently tells you he's ready to win a major championship, but after moving to within three shots of the lead after a 2-under 70, he's the kind of guy who could sneak up on the leaderboard on Sunday afternoon. If the players ahead of him fail to get anything going early and Watson finds his putting stroke — something that's eluded him at times this week — there's a good chance he could backdoor a major championship. He just needs to continue playing his game and see what happens on Sunday.
Fred Couples' incredible run comes to an end — The feel-good story of the Masters failed to replicate the magic on Saturday. That's really all you can say about Couples' 3-over 75 that saw him tumble out of contention early in the day. Despite putting out of his mind all week, Couples once again failed to hit fairways and greens with regularity and when the putter finally cooled off, you knew his run was over. It was fun while it lasted, Fred.
Sergio Garcia finally realized he was contention at the Masters — For two days Sergio Garcia seemed oblivious to the notion that he could win his first major championship this week. Preposterous, right? Even Sergio was keeping his expectations in check ... right up until he stepped on the tee for the third round. Sensing the magnitude of the moment, he suddenly caved under the pressure and posted a 3-over 75 that ended any chance he had of winning his first green jacket. The more we watch Sergio crumble in big moments at the majors, the more we seem to realize he'll probably never win the big one.
Louis Oosthuizen could very well win the Masters — Another quiet, mild-mannered South African within striking distance of the leaders going into Sunday's final round. Hmmm ... now where have we seen this before? Just a year after Charl Schawartzel came out of nowhere to win the Masters, Louis Oosthuizen, who fired a solid 3-under 69, has a chance to come from one shot back to win. With a major championship already under his belt — he won the 2010 British Open — he could be the perfect pick to win his first green jacket if Peter Hanson and Phil Mickelson stumble.
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