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Third round not a typical Masters moving day as Augusta National firms up

Apr. 13—AUGUSTA — Saturday was moving day at Augusta National Golf Club.

The third round of the Masters Tournament typically sees fireworks and a handful of golfers vault into contention after starting from well back.

But this Masters hasn't been typical, and there wasn't a whole lot of movement — at least not in the right direction — from the field.

In fact, two of the three leaders at the start of the day went in the opposite direction. Scottie Scheffler fashioned a 1-under-par 71 to take the lead, while Max Homa (73) and Bryson DeChambeau (75) couldn't break par.

At least DeChambeau had the shot of the day, holing out his third shot from the fairway for an improbable birdie at No. 18.

Collin Morikawa had the best round of the day among those in contention with 3-under 69.

Xander Schauffele gave himself a chance Sunday with a bogey-free 70.

"Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, I thought it felt like a weekend here at Augusta," he said. "Today was sort of back to that."

He wound up at 2 under for the tournament, five back of Scheffler.

"My goal was to get to 4 today. I thought that was doable," he said. "I definitely had enough today to do it. Just kind of have to go out and shoot something ridiculous tomorrow."

On a normal moving day, someone usually emerges from the early groups with a round several under par. Chris Kirk was the best of the early starters, firing 4-under 68. That left him 1-over for the tournament and still eight shots behind Scheffler.

Hideki Matsuyama played his first nine in 3-under, but gave two shots back coming in for 71.

Augusta resident Luke List thought he had missed the 36-hole cut, He was making a run before playing his last four holes in 3-over fashion and settling for 71.

Thursday's opening round was delayed by rain, and players were met with gusty winds when they reached the course. Still, a number of low scores were posted in the soft conditions.

The golf course began drying out Friday, and gusty conditions wreaked havoc. Only one golfer broke 70.

Augusta National played firm and fast Saturday, with a steady breeze and occasional gusts up to 20 mph.

List said the course was playing difficult.

"Yeah, it's still up," he said of the wind. "The golf course has some spice to it. There's birdies out there for sure, but there's also some trouble. As you see, some of the exposed greens are really challenging, and there's some good pin placements.

"You've just got to be in complete control of your golf ball, and if you're not you're going to pay."

Of the 60 players who made the 36-hole cut, only 12 broke par Saturday. And only two players, Kirk and Morikawa, broke 70.

Defending champion Jon Rahm, who shot even-par 72 in the third round, said scoring conditions were more favorable Saturday.

"There is still a couple spots where if it gusted, still some heavy winds," he said. "Obviously a little bit easier, but the golf course is quite firm and fast also, so that's always going to make things a little more interesting."