The lead is 4-under 140, with Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia, Thomas Pieters and Charley Hoffman sharing the lead. Jordan Spieth, Adam Scott and Phil Mickelson are four back at even-par 144. Rory McIlroy is five astray. Jon Rahm, 58-year-old Fred Couples and Justin Rose are 1-under par. We’re in store for a great weekend in terms of weather, which hopefully gives us a great finish at Augusta National.
The marquee group will be Spieth paired with Mickelson. Between them they have four green jackets, and while Mickelson holds the edge 3-1, no on has been better at Augusta National over the last three years than Spieth, whose record there is T2, 1, T2.
Here are the five things to watch for on Saturday at the Masters:
Not many major winners in the top 10. When will experience, or lack thereof, start to matter? Of the top nine on the leaderboard, just two players have major titles: 58-year-old Fred Couples and 2013 U.S. Open winner Justin Rose. The sharks with majors are waiting starting four behind the lead.
Better weather. After two days of nasty winds that gave us the highest 36-hole cut since 2007 (when Zach Johnson won at 1-over 289), the weather will be ideal for the weekend. It’s going to be sunny and in the high 60s or low 70s on Saturday and Sunday with almost no wind. Moving Day will be more than just a name.
Keeping it within eight shots. The biggest final-round comeback in Masters history is eight shots, which Jack Burke Jr. made up over Ken Venturi in 1956. If that’s the marker, then any player within that mark has a historic chance, even if not a present one.
Getting off to a good start. Through two rounds, the first hole at Augusta National is playing the toughest in Masters history, almost two-thirds of a stroke over par. Avoiding disaster to start the round will be key for all the contenders.
The battle for low amateur. The U.S. Amateur champion (who turns pro Monday) Curtis Luck and U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Stewart Hagestad both made the cut. Hagestad is the first U.S. Mid-Am winner to make the Masters cut dating back to its 1981 creation. The low-am honor isn’t a fait accompli, and that’s fun.
Here’s a look at Saturday’s tee times (ET):
10:20 a.m. – Jason Day
10:30 a.m. – Daniel Berger, Branden Grace
10:40 a.m. – J.B. Holmes, Francesco Molinari
10:50 a.m. – Curtis Luck*, Larry Mize
11 a.m. – James Hahn, Ross Fisher
11:10 a.m. – Matthew Fitzpatrick, Brandt Snedeker
11:20 a.m. – Kevin Kisner, Andy Sullivan
11:30 a.m. – Daniel Summerhays, Adam Hadwin
11:40 a.m. – Emiliano Grillo, Justin Thomas
12 p.m. – Byeong-Hun An, Bernd Wiesberger
12:10 p.m. – Steve Stricker, Louis Oosthuizen
12:20 p.m. – Brooks Kopeka, Pat Perez
12:30 p.m. – Kevin Chappell, Paul Casey
12:40 p.m. – Brian Stuard, Stewart Hagestad*
12:50 p.m. – Russell Henley, Brendan Steele
1 p.m. – Bill Haas, Jimmy Walker
1:10 p.m. – Lee Westwood, Marc Leishman
1:20 p.m. – Ernie Els, Jason Dufner
1:40 p.m. – Hideki Matsuyama, Martin Kaymer
1:50 p.m. – Soren Kjeldsen, Charl Schwartzel
2 p.m. – Matt Kuchar, Rory McIlroy
2:10 p.m. – Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson
2:20 p.m. – Justin Rose, Adam Scott
2:30 p.m. – Jon Rahm, Fred Couples
2:40 p.m. – William McGirt, Ryan Moore
2:50 p.m. – Thomas Pieters, Rickie Fowler
3 p.m. – Charley Hoffman, Sergio Garcia
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