Masters 2017 leaderboard: Justin Rose takes the battle to Jordan Spieth in race for Green Jacket

James Corrigan
The Telegraph
Justin Rose has a share of the lead going into the final round - Getty Images North America
Justin Rose has a share of the lead going into the final round - Getty Images North America
  • Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia share the lead going into the final day

  • Rickie Fowler second at five under

  • Charley Hoffman led for most of thed day but double bogey at 16th sees him drop to third

  • Jordan Spieth charges up the leaderboard with a round of four under par

  • Full leaderboard from Augusta

Green and gold are not the two colours which spring most obviously to mind when one thinks of an English sporting hero, but for Justin Rose they would make the perfect combination if the Olympic champion can make it back-to-back Masters victories for his country.

Rose’s 67 was the best of a day in which the Augusta National remained tough, despite the glorious weather. Five birdies in his last seven holes, and two in the last two, took Rose to six-under and handed the world No 14 a share of the 54-hole lead with Ryder Cup team-mate Sergio Garcia, who shot a 70.

What a story it would be if Garcia was to win his first major on what would have been the 60th birthday of Seve Ballesteros. But there are many tantalising tales on a brilliant leaderboard. In all, there are 11 players within five shots of the lead, and these include Lee Westwood, whose 68 hurtled him to one-under and gave him yet another shot at that elusive major.

But it is the 43-year-old’s countryman with the most obvious chance of following Danny Willett into the Butler Cabin and making it two in two for England after a 20-year wait to follow Sir Nick Faldo. Could Rose add green jacket to the precious medal he won in Rio last September and to the US Open he won in 2013? He sees no reason why not.

<span>Justin Rose shows nerves of steel on the greens</span> <span>Credit: EPA </span>
Justin Rose shows nerves of steel on the greens Credit: EPA

“There are some wonderful story lines on that leaderboard,” he said. “Obviously I'm already a major champion, but I'm looking for more and I'm certainly looking for my first Masters. I would dearly love to be part of the history and I’ll take confidence from my Olympics and US Open wins. I'm in a great position and I have to stay positive.”

The 36 year-old recovered from a bogey on the par-five second, after a wild hook into the trees forced him to take an unplayable penalty, with seven birdies. There was another mistake on the par-three sixth, where he pulled his tee-shot and failed to enact the up-and-down, but otherwise it was typical Rose.

A 25-footer had dropped for a three on the third and a 12-footer saved par on the 11th, before a magnificent wedge to five feet on the 12th. This birdie was flanked by two more birdies on the par fives eighth and 13th. He also birdied the par-five 15th and when he converted a 20-footer on the 17th and an 11-footer on the 18th for another three, his candidacy seemed increasingly irresistible.

It would be even more convincing but for Jordan Spieth on four-under, one behind Rickie Fowler (71) and long-time leader Charley Hoffman (72 and tying for fifth with another American Ryder Cup player in Ryan Moore.)

Spieth’s rivals should just be thankful that he recorded that nine on the first day. Otherwise, this remarkable young man, for whom the term ‘Augusta specialist' is beginning to look an absurd understatement, would be two clear.

Yet the 23 year-old did make that quadruple-bogey on the 15th on Thursday and, of course, the memory of the final round of 2016 is still fresh when he allowed a five-shot advantage to disappear on the back nine. 

<span>Jordan Spieth is only two shots off the lead</span> <span>Credit: GETTY IMAGES </span>
Jordan Spieth is only two shots off the lead Credit: GETTY IMAGES

Nobody will ever concede the win to him again after that capitulation. But with a Masters record that reads second-first-second in his three appearances to date, there can be no doubt who is the favourite, after his 68.

He is seven-under for the last two rounds after that opening 75 and signalled that he is the thoroughbred in a race which could rapidly develop into a sprint for the line, with 2013 winner Adam Scott in seventh on three-under, following a 69, and 2011 winner Charl Schwartzel in eighth on two-under, after a 68.

Rory McIlroy, and his many admirers, will hope to be involved but he will have to produce something very special after a 71 left him on level par, the same total as another Englishman, Paul Casey, who shot a rousing 69.

McIlroy, the world No 2, had stated on Friday night: “If I can go two-under through the first three holes than I’ll be right in this thing”, and he remained true to his promise to be aggressive with a thrilling beginning, featuring birdies on the second and third. But after a bogey on the fifth, so arrived the double-bogey he had been dreading, when he drove into the trees on the seventh, before a strange third shot from the greenside bunker gave him a 65-foot putt for a par and he predictably three-putted.

This was his first of the week, but his 15th double-bogey or worse since 2010, and this is the most for any player aged under 50 in this time. And when this is put alongside the statistic which says that 17 of the last 20 Masters winners have managed to keep double-bogey off their four scorecards and that the other three only recorded one of the tournament-wrecking blighters, then it is obvious why Mcilroy looked so aggrieved.

<span>Rory McIlroy is not giving up just yet</span> <span>Credit: AP </span>
Rory McIlroy is not giving up just yet Credit: AP

However, the 27 year-old bounced back with birdie on the eighth, courtesy of a fine up and down, and when he birdied the par-three 12th from 20-feet, he was back to level par. With the two par fives to come, he was back in the hunt.

Alas, he could do no better than fives on the 13th and 15th, when missing the green in two on both occasions, despite being in the middle of the fairway on both occasions. That seems to be the story of his Masters. McIlroy, though, refused to rule out completing the career grand slam here on Sunday.

“My best score round here is 65 and I’m going to need something like that if not lower to have a chance,” he said. “The score is gettable, especially in these conditions. If you take advantage of the par fives you are already four-under par on the tee. But I am probably going to have to play the round of my life to stand a chance.”


Everyone's excited for Sunday. So am I. See you then. Go to bed.


Stay tuned for James Corrigan's report

In the meantime, here's Mr Hayward:


State of play going into the final day


A pair of pars

Charley looks one relieved man. For a split second it looks like it's running right but the ball scoots inside the lip. He finishes on four under and evens for the day.

Garcia holds his nerve to plunge it straight down the centre of the hole. He finishes on six under and a share of the lead. Two under round 3 for the Spaniard.


Clutch putts coming up

Hoffman rolls his birdie putt to within five feet. Garcia has an up-and-down, it drifts away to the right. He has a six footer for par.


Garcia and Hoffman on the 18th green

Both have left themselves work to do. Hoffman's ball trundles back down the green, leaving him with a long range putt for birdie. 

Garcia is also short and back down the green.

A warm reception from the Augusta crowd as they make their way towards the finishing hole.


Penultimate pair finish the 18th

Fowler's approach to 18 takes a kick, leaving a long range putt for birdie.

Pieters is on the green and almost rolls in a birdie, but the ball comes to rest on the right lip of the hole. He ends at one under with a round of 75.

Fowler's birdie putt is wayward and still leaves him ten foot for par. But he tucks it in to finish on five under. One under for the day. A masterclass in putting.

<span>Rickie Fowler knocks in another putt</span> <span>Credit: Harry How/Getty Images </span>
Rickie Fowler knocks in another putt Credit: Harry How/Getty Images


Pars for the final pair

Garcia with a long range birdie attempt. Well paced but fractionally misread the slope. Gimme par. Hoffman sinks his putt for a par of his own.

Just two pairings left on the course now.


Moore and McGirt finish for the day

Ryan Moore for birdie on the 18th. Six or seven yarder. Firm strike, perfectly placed but it ends just right of the hole. Gimme par for Moore leaves him at four under going into Sunday. A round of 69 for the American. McGirt finishes with par to end on evens with a round of 74.

Hoffman shoots too low for his birdie putt, leaving a tricky par.


Pieters birdies 17

The Belgian moves to two under. A strong recovery after a shaky turn.

The final pair take their approaches on the 17th from the middle of the fairway. Garcia is 151 yards to the hole and sticks it on the left hand side of the green. He looks a little nonplussed by that.

Hoffman drifts right and the ball rolls a little down the hill of the green. Even stevens on positions.

<span>Charley Hoffman looks on as Sergio Garcia plays an approach shot on the 17th</span>
Charley Hoffman looks on as Sergio Garcia plays an approach shot on the 17th


The wheels are coming off for the Hoff

His bogey putt is still about seven foot short of the hole. He sinks it, but from leading for most of the day he's suddenly dropped to tied third. That could be a very costly hole.

Garcia knocks in for his par.

Fowler also pars 17 to remain at five under. His putting has been exemplary today.


Couples back in the clubhouse

Hoffman takes a drop and compounds his error with a poor approach onto the green. He's a long way out for a bogey putt.

Garcia has putter out on 15 off the fringe and nudges it down the slope towards the hole. Should be in for a simple par.

Ryan Moore pars 17 to stay at four under.

A birdie attempt from Fred Couples runs cruelly wide at 18. Come on, golf. Why didn't you let that trickle in?


Hoffman is in the water 

Uh oh. This could end tears for Charley, who pulls his tee shot off the 16th. It's getting wet, regardless.

Jordan Spieth, who lies on four under going into Sunday:

We wanted to shoot four under and creep in on the lead. I thought the golf course was going to be difficult today, but we hit our goal.

Other places you can back off and cruise, but you have to play for the win here. You have to go for it. Tomorrow it's about when those moments present themselves, remaining confident and pulling off the shot.


Garcia back to the top of the leaderboard

Hoffman's par attempt will precede Garcia's birdie effort. The American sinks it from five foot.

Garcia about four to five feet away, a touch of movement off the green but he trickles it in to move into a three-way share for the lead.

 Justin Rose on his round of 67:

The key for me was to stay patient early in the round. I saw people were getting off to a good start. The test was around six where I made bogey. Everything clicked into gear on the back nine. The par putt on eleven was the catalyst.

It was a nice not to have to factor the wind into your reads today. The greens were rolling perfectly and I had a lot more confidence in them today.


Hoffman misses birdie

Both Garcia and Hoffman have good birdie chances at 15. The American is first up. 20 footer, a slight left to right, but he hits it too low and too hard and it fizzes past the hole. Not a gimme par, either.


Fowler pars the 16th

He remains at five under.

Rose's card for the day:


No Spain, no gain

Jon Rahm overshoots a birdie attempt on 17, leaving him a tricky putt for par, which he rolls by the hole. The young Spaniard's challenge fading away.

His compatriot Sergio Garcia has rolled himself into a perfect position for a birdie on 15. His putting has been shaky today, but you'd expect him to sink this one.


Justin Rose moves into a share of the lead

With a birdie on the last. Sensational round of 67 for the Englishman. 

Adam Scott finishes with a par on three under.

<span>Justin Rose birdies the 18th to move into a share of the lead</span> <span>Credit: Harry How/Getty Images </span>
Justin Rose birdies the 18th to move into a share of the lead Credit: Harry How/Getty Images




Five pairings left out on the course

Scott & Rose, Rahm & Couples, McGirt & Moore, Fowler & Pieters, Garcia & Hoffman.


Fowler birdies

He moves to five under and into a share of second place.


Spieth and Mickelson done for the day

Moore moves back to four under with a birdie at the 15th.

Hoffman has badly overshot his birdie attempt at 14 and he could be struggling to save par. He under hits it, so it's a dropped shot for the leader.

Spieth finishes with a par at 18 to end on four under. Excellent round of 68 for the American. Big Phil also finishes with par but he's shot a 74. He would have been hoping a little better.

<span>Jordan Spieth pars the last to finish on four under</span> <span>Credit: Rex Features </span>
Jordan Spieth pars the last to finish on four under Credit: Rex Features

A birdie attempt from Sergio just sneaks by the hole.



So, as we approach the final few holes, this is how it stands:

Hoffman -7 
Rose -5
Garcia -5
Spieth -4
Fowler -4
Scott -3
Moore -3


Rose to five under

Spieth sends his final tee shot of the day down the middle of the fairway.

Rickie Fowler has gone about his business in an understated way today, but he's thru 16 at evens for the day, remaining at four under and well placed for Sunday. His tee shot off 17 finds the pine needles off the fairway. His partner Justin Rose has nailed another birdie, taking him to four under for the day and second in the leaderboard.


2011 winner back in the hutch

Carl Schwartzel is done too. He goes round in 68 and lies at two under.


McIlroy in the clubhouse at evens

Hoffman responds with a birdie of his own to move back to two shots clear.

A solid day for Rory who finishes at one under for the round.


Sergio in for birdie

Adam Scott drops in for par at 16, as does Justin Rose. The Aussie is at three under, the Englishman at four under. 1-0 England in the golf Ashes.

Spieth misreads a birdie attempt on the 17th. He played for left to right but there was none.

McIlroy on the green with a birdie attempt on the 18th. Shaves it.

Sergio plays a wonderful approach shot onto the green. It almost looks like it's going in for eagle, but it stops short for a tap in birdie. He moves back to one shot shy of Hoffman and a much needed boost for the Spaniard, who sticks his tongue out like a cheeky spaniel.


Final pairing move towards the 13th green

Sergio likes the look of his tee shot on 13. "Right there," says the Spaniard. There happens to be slap bang in the middle of the fairway. Hoffman is lying in the pine needles near the trees and his second shot bounces back of a lady's knee back on the fairway. A bit more ping pong after Fowler's earlier use of some saplings. Garcia goes awry, but he gets lucky and the ball holds up on the bank when it looked certain to roll into the ravine. Not an easy lie, but could have been worse. Still looking good for par.

Adam Scott goes hard at a birdie attempt at 16 but rolls it right. Rose has an attempt from a similar position but it comes up short.

Worth having a look at that Couples birdie:


Spieth faulters

Rickie Fowler should be in for an easy birdie at 13 to move him back to four under. Excellent approach shot from behind the green.

Justin Rose with a teasing birdie putt on 15. He tickles it in to move to four under.

A blemish for Jordan. He overcooks his par putt after a mishit tee shot and he actually drops a shot. It looked like he never would. Hoffman is handed back his two shot lead.

<span>Jordan Spieth reacts as his par putt rolls past the 15th hole</span>
Jordan Spieth reacts as his par putt rolls past the 15th hole


Pars for the final pair at twelve

Hoffman's putt is slowish from the back of the green, but his attempt comes up just short for a gimme par. Garcia's putting lets him done once again. He rolls it right and remains two off the lead.


Couples birdies

Hoffman is at the back of the green at twelve. Garcia goes one better, landing it in the middle before it spins back towards the hole, leaving him a 15-footer for birdie.

Fred Couples loves it. He birdies the 13th and stretches out his 57-year-old wings like an albatross to soak in the applause.


Sad Sergio

Garcia's body language starting to drop, missing a birdie chance at eleven. The Spaniard looks lacking in confidence again. Hoffman just misses a birdie chance to put daylight between him and Spieth.

McIlroy and Moore both hole birdies.


Spieth sparkles

Biggest cheer of the day for Jordan Spieth: a champion approach shot almost rolls in for eagle, leaving a gimme birdie. World class golf from Spieth. He might just bypass the bridge and walk across the water to the green.

The cameras pan to Phil Mickelson. Remember him? He birdies to move his score to two over, but he's completely under the shadow of his younger partner, who moves to five under and second in the leaderboard.

An intriguing subplot looking ahead to tomorrow:


Bogey hole

Spieth, then, in trouble at the 15th, the site of his quadruple bogey on day one. He gets himself back on the fairway. Can he shake his demons?

Adam Scott's birdie attempt rolls around the cup, the ball pondering a trip into the hole before thinking better of it.


Spieth gets the fans involved

Jordan is not a happy man. His tee shot at 15 goes straight into the crowd and his approach to the green is blocked by trees. 

That run could be coming to an end:

McIlroy misses a birdie putt on the green at the same hole.

Pieters lips a straightforward bogey putt at twelve. A double moves drops him down to one under. Rahm birdies the 13th to move two under.


Love is in the air

A happy couple have just got engaged on the twelfth hole at Augusta. Sure, why not.


Westwood back in the clubhouse

Garcia misses a birdie chance at ten, but sinks his par putt. Hoffman also in for par.

Lee Westwood is done for the day. He ends with a par and a round of 68, which leaves in one under and right in contention for Sunday.

<span>Lee Westwood ends with a round of 68</span> <span>Credit: Harry How/Getty Images </span>
Lee Westwood ends with a round of 68 Credit: Harry How/Getty Images

 Spieth sinks a par putt while a Pieters birdie attempt crashes back off the pin.


Champions past to be champions present?

McGirt with a birdie chance at eleven. A bizarre misjudgement, setting out left on a right to left. The Augusta rookie just starting to fade a tad after such an impressive start to his round. Ryan Moore sinks a simpler birdie putt to move to three under.

Charl Schwartzel is suddenly back into contention with an eagle and a birdie from his last three holes. Adam Scott joins him at three under with a birdie of his own. Plenty of former champions in contention going into the final day.

Rose does likewise. A smattering of big names on three under now.

McIlroy makes a hash of his approach at 15, going way over the back of the green. He needs to finish strong to remain in the mix for Sunday.


Final pair battling it out

Thomas Pieters with a long birdie putt at ten. An ounce more pace and it would have rolled in. A gimme par for the Belgian who stays at three under.

Garcia and Hoffman find themselves in almost exactly the same spot off the tee at ten, just to the left of the fairway.

<span>Charley Hoffman moves back into the outright lead with a birdie at the ninth</span> <span>Credit: Harry How/Getty Images </span>
Charley Hoffman moves back into the outright lead with a birdie at the ninth Credit: Harry How/Getty Images

 Jon Rahm bags a double bogey at twelve.


A turning point?

Garcia misses his par putt and gets in for bogey. Big swing at the top at the turn.

Jon Rahm is in the water at twelve.

Lee Westwood judges his birdie putt at 17 to perfection. He had about 20 foot of green to read. He goes under for the tournament.


Hoffman outright leader

Garcia comes up short with his birdie putt. Over to Hoffman. Sinks it from ten foot. He moves to six under.

Rickie Fowler's tee shot at ten hits a woman on the leg.


Rose birdies 12

After a beautiful tee shot leaves him with a five footer


Leaders at nine

Garcia leaves his approach a tad short, with too much backspin. Hoffman, on the other hand, gets his ball to plug about ten feet away from the pin. He walks away with a beaming smile and a chance to move back into the outright lead.

Jon Rahm sinks a tricky birdie at eleven to move to three under.


Yes he can

"Get down ball," shouts Jordan. A stunning shot at 13 finds the middle of the green, although the ball rolls away from the hole. It comes to lie about 30 foot away from the hole.

McGirt drops a shot at ten. He's now at two under.



"Perfect," says Garcia as he watches his tee shot at nine sail down the middle of the fairway.

<span>Joint leader Sergio Garcia of Spain hits off the tee</span> <span>Credit: ERIK S. LESSER/EPA </span>
Joint leader Sergio Garcia of Spain hits off the tee Credit: ERIK S. LESSER/EPA

 Spieth is back in the trees. Can he get himself out of the woods again?


Rory hits a monster

 Justin Rose sinks a ten foot putt for par at twelve. Westwood also saves par at 16.


Garcia regains share of the lead

Garcia with an eagle chance at eight. Perfect line but he leaves it about seven foot short. He sinks it to move back to five under alongside Hoffman.

McGirt misses a gettable birdie, lipping it at the tenth.

Rickie Fowler gets lucky off the tee, his ball cannoning of a tree and landing smack in the middle of the fairway. Jammy.

Fred Couples narrowly misses a long par shot to drop back to one under.

Spieth saves par at 13. He punches the air, then has another little fist pump. Zoned.

Westwood plays a lovely approach shot from the bunker at the 15th, setting up an easy birdie chance, which he duly takes. Lee moves to evens.


Rickaaay etc. etc.

Rickie Fowler birdies at eight to move back to move under and a share of second with Garcia.

 Ryan Moore follows up a birdie at eight with another at nine to move to three under.


Case closed

A fine round from Paul Casey ends with a bogey. The Englishman finishes at evens for the day.

<span>Paul Casey finishes the day at evens after a round of three under&nbsp;</span> <span>Credit: Matt Slocum/AP </span>
Paul Casey finishes the day at evens after a round of three under  Credit: Matt Slocum/AP


Hoffman goes clear once more

Charley Hoffman with a birdie attempt at seven. About 25 foot out, but it comes up just short and left. Gimme par. Pressure on Garcia to sink his bogey putt, which he does.

Spieth gets a little lucky at eleven. He nearly rolls his approach into the water but the ball decides it's not game for a swim. Holds up on the brink.

McIlroy birdies a long range putt at twelve. Much needed momentum changer for Rory.


Sergio flirts with the sand

Garcia is hitting through trees at seven. He tries to squeeze his approach in between the front bunkers but it doesn't have the legs. Too short to be beached, though, and it comes up shy of the sandpit. He then overcooks his approach and he'll be fighting to hold onto that share of the lead. A long putt for par awaits.

Ryan Moore whacks one into the pin at eight and it bounces back at him. So unlucky. He tucks in a birdie, mind, so he won't be too displeased.


Fred a couple under

Another magnificent approach from Spieth to himself a chance of par at ten. Odds shortening drastically, I should imagine. It's an irksome ten-footer, put he puts it away.

Ah, Fred Couples. Tucks in a nice little birdie at the eighth to move two under. He doffs his cap. The decorum you'd expect from an elder statesman.


Hoffman bogies at six, which means...


Simmering nicely as the leaders hit the turn

Paul Casey has a long uphill put for birdie at 17. It's well paced but he leaves it a little left. Should be a straightforward putt for par.

Jordan might be in trouble on the tenth, but he his at -7 for the tournament since his quadruple bogey on the 15th on Thursday...


William McGirth. Take. A. Bow. 

The man from Lumberton rolls in a downhill 25 foot par putt on seven. Lovely stuff.

Scott drops in his birdie to move to two under.

Spieth is in the forestry off the tee at ten.


English contingent make headway

Justin Rose and Adam Scott both have eagle chances at eight. Both miss, but Rose has a gimme birdie to move back into the red, Scott with work still to do.

Paul Casey two putts for par on 16.

Lee Westwood has a birdie opportunity at the 13th, about ten foot, up and down. He sinks it to move to one over.


Birdie for Sergio

Jordan Spieth hits a magnificent iron shot at nine to set up another potential birdie. Looks like Spieth will be the big gun mover today.

Sergio Garcia rolls in for a birdie at five, closing the gap on Charley Hoffman to one shot.

<span>Rickie Fowler and Thomas Pieters are the penultimate pairing on day 3 at Augusta</span> <span>Credit: &nbsp;Andrew Redington/Getty Images </span>
Rickie Fowler and Thomas Pieters are the penultimate pairing on day 3 at Augusta Credit:  Andrew Redington/Getty Images


Mickelson slipping back

Garcia can't quite match Hoffman's antics, narrowly missing a birdie attempt of his own.

Pieters lips a par attempt at five, dropping back to three under.

McGirth wants to walk in another birdie, but it rolls just wide.

Mickelson is dropping further back after a birdie-birdie start. He bogies another to move to two over.


Hoffman has breathing space

Adam Scott narrowly misses his birdie putt at the seventh. If he'd brought his putting game to Augusta he would be right up there with the leaders. But he's not. So. Yeah.

Spieth misses an eagle putt at eight, but sinks the birdie to move to two under.

Hoffman birdies at three to move two shots clear at six under.


Englishmen missing their birdies

Lee Westwood plinks one over the water with a neat bit of backspin, the ball landing dead still about 15 feet away from the hole on the 13th. Another birdie chance for the Englishman, but his putt comes up short.

Justin Rose rolls a longer birdie attempt at seven way to the left. He remains at evens.


Rory back on track

McIlroy sinks his birdie at eight to move back to one over. He's hanging on in there is the Ulsterman.

Adam Scott plays a wonderful approach on the seventh to leave a birdie opportunity. The Aussie is lurking at one under.


Lots of golf happening

Hoffman has a fast downhill putt for birdie at three but it rolls left. Well paced. Should be a gimme for par.

Spieth's birdie putt at seven was always rolling left, but an easy par means he stays under for the tournament.

Sergio Garcia misses a birdie opportunity at three. About ten feet out but it drifts left.

Fowler saves par again at four from 15 feet. He continues to show his battling qualities.

McGirt with an excellent approach at five to leave him with a birdie chance, which he sinks to move to four under.

How has this stayed out from Lee Westwood?

<span>A Lee Westwood birdie attempt dangles over the hole</span>
A Lee Westwood birdie attempt dangles over the hole

 That was for a birdie at the 11th.


Is Casey a contender?


Hoffman the sole leader



This at six from Spieth...

He now has a rough lie at seven. His approach jumps off and over the front lip of the bunker in front of the green, presenting a nice little birdie opportunity for the 2015 Champion.

Rickie Fowler sinks a long bogey putt. He drops a shot, but it could have been worse. 

William McGirt continues to be cool as ice, saving par at the third. Pieters also in for par.


Hoffman moves back into a share of the lead

Paul Casey moves back to level par with a two putt birdie at the 13th.

McIlroy's bogey attempt drifts right. He looked so in the zone earlier.

Garcia misses birdie at two, but Hoffman drops his in with ease to join Fowler at the top of the leaderboard at five under.

Rickie Fowler's chip approach at the second comes up short of the green and it rolls back down the hill, coming to rest next to his feet. Hoffman might well be clear soon.

Yep, we've had plenty of these already, so why not have some more...


Spieth moves to under par

Rory McIlroy plugged his bunker shot and has a monster putt for bogey, which gets nowhere near. He has about 20 feet to make a double.

Jordan Spieth drops in a birdie at six to move to under par. His partner Phil Mickelson misses a long par shot, so his score moves the wrong side of evens.


Right, went Fred's birdie attempt

Fred Couples birdie attempt stops tantalisingly wide of the fourth hole.

Rory McIlroy lands his approach at seven in the bunker.

John Rahm three putts for a bogey at four. He drops back down to two under.


The 2017 Masters has a new leader

Rickie Fowler sinks a straightforward birdie at two to go clear at five under. His partner Thomas Pieters recovers his bogey at one with a birdie of his own. Cliché alert: The Belgian has an old head on young shoulders.


It's all happening now

John Rahm follows his birdie at two with another at three. He moves to three under.

McIlroy rolls an attempted birdie well short of the hole at six. He stays evens after sinking his par. Spieth likewise leaves his birdie putt left at five.

Garcia rolls in for par at the first. A nice settler.

Time for an inadvertent photo bomb:

<span>A spectator peers in on a Louis Oosthuizen tee shot</span> <span>Credit: David Goldman/AP </span>
A spectator peers in on a Louis Oosthuizen tee shot Credit: David Goldman/AP


McGirt birdies 

Birdie at two for the Augusta rookie, who moves to three under. McGirt. From Lumberton in North Carolina. I love those names.

Ryan Moore follows suit. He moves to two under.


Dropping shots

Fowler misses a birdie chance on the first, his partner Thomas Pieters bogies.

Lee Westwood sends a birdie putt wide at the eighth.

McIlroy lips a par putt on the fifth to drop a shot for the first time today.

But Couples and Rahm both birdie the second. A pair of two unders for them.


Sergio sails down the middle of the fairway

 I concur.


The last pair are out

Sergio Garcia and Charley Hoffman line up their tee shots at the first.


Par game

Mickelson rolls a birdie putt agonisingly wide of the hole at four. Nearly an excellent recovery for leftie. He rolls in for his first par of the day. Spieth also sinks his par.


Mixed bag for Mick


Score updates

Adam Scott has birdied the second to move to one under, but his partner Justin Rose bogies to drop back to evens. Kjeldsen likewise at four.

Martin Kaymer has hit three consecutive birdies following his bogey at the fourth. He lies at one under.

William McGirt has got his round under way with a par at the first.

Westwood bogies at seven. He's back to two over. Likewise Schwartzel at five.


Double bogey for Mickelson

Spieth misses his birdie putt at three and his chance to go under for the tournament. He has a gimme par.

Likewise Rory at four.

Mickelson runs his bogey putt right and long, leaving himself a six-footer for double, which he sinks. His grin is replaced with a grimace as he returns to evens.

I am genuinely too young to remember Phil Mickelson looking like this.


Mickel in a pickle

Leftie Phil catches his approach heavy and sends it over to the other side of the green and will have his work cut out to avoid a double. He gets out the putter to nudge himself onto the green but still has a tricky putt to finish this hole.

His compatriot Matt Kuchar is also fighting to save par at the fourth.


A fearsome foursome?

Spieth on the fairway and Mickelson in the bunker at the par four third, named 'Flowering Peach', which is a dumb name if we're honest.

McIlroy hits a strong tee shot on the par three fourth to give him another birdie chance. He is hitting it sweet right now.

His partner Kuchar is struggling a tad. He can't match Rory for length and his tee shot comes up short of the green.

Phil tells his approach shot to "go", but he can't reach the green and his ball rolls back down the fringe. A tough up and down now for par.

Spieth spins back a nice approach onto the green, leaving himself about 20 feet for birdie.

Westwood bogies the seventh to stem his momentum

<span>Rory McIlroy lines up a putt on day three at Augusta</span> <span>Credit: USA/Rex/Shuttershock </span>
Rory McIlroy lines up a putt on day three at Augusta Credit: USA/Rex/Shuttershock


Score updates

Mickelson can't quite tuck in his eagle putt, rolling it just left, but it's a gimme birdie for the leftie, who has made a rollicking start.

Kjeldsen has also moved to one under, having birdied the second. Jimmy Walker has bogied and then birdied again, and sits at one over. Kevin Chappell has also bogied the ninth to move back to one over.

Kaymer and Matsuyama have both dropped shots to move out to three over.


Rory on an early roll

He can't quite wriggle himself out of the mess he made for himself with that approach. McIlroy on the other hand tucks in his second straight birdie. He moves to one under.


They do look the business right now

Justin Rose pars the first. Hagestad birdies eight to move to two over. Excellent effort from the amateur.



Phil is wearing a beaming smile after a phenomenal approach at two leaves him a eminently gettable eagle putt. Even better than Rory's was, landing at beyond the hole and avoiding the downhill slope.

Kuchar overcooks it at three and his ball rolls over the other side and down, down, down the hill it goes.


We have some more movers

Kevin Chappell follows an eagle at seven with a birdie at eight to move to evens. Lee Westwood follows in Jason Day's footsteps, hitting four consecutive birdies after bogeying the third to move to one over.

<span>Lee Westwood hits four consecutive birdies to move himself back into contention</span> <span>Credit: JONATHAN ERNST/Reuters </span>
Lee Westwood hits four consecutive birdies to move himself back into contention Credit: JONATHAN ERNST/Reuters


Schwartzel birdied at two - moves to one over


Big birdie for Big Phil

Perfectly judged 15-foot uphill putt from Mickelson, which drops right into the middle of the hole just as it began to run out of legs.

Can Spieth follow suit? Not quite. His putt is downhill and runs a tad left. He drops in for par.

Matt Kuchar recovers well out of the bunker to leave himself on the edge of the green for a birdie chance at two.

McIlroy makes a valiant attempt at his eagle putt but he leaves himself a gimme birdie.

Kuchar is frightfully unlucky, lipping his birdie putt to walk away with par. These four looking good for the course already.

<span>Phil Mickelson birdies the first</span> <span>Credit: JONATHAN ERNST/Reuters </span>
Phil Mickelson birdies the first Credit: JONATHAN ERNST/Reuters


Dear me

Right, one of the commentators just said of Phil Mickelson: "his analysation of the game really helps him." Worst sentence of the week.

Mickelson hits an excellent approach onto the first green, mind. Must have been that analysation.

Kuchar finds the front bunker at number two off the fairway. McIlroy nails his approach onto the green, but gets a little unlucky as the ball rolls and rolls away from the hole. He leaves himself a 20 foot uphill putt for eagle.


Due out in 15 minutes:


He was out on his own, does that count as a pairing?

 After four consecutive birdies on between 12 and 15, the Aussie ends on a slight downer, but a good round overall.


The big hitters are coming thick and fast now

Step forward Jordan Spieth. Straight down the middle of the fairway after Rory sunk his putt for par.

Mickelson is slightly to the right but he has a fair lie.

<span>Jordan Spieth steps out onto the course at Augusta</span> <span>Credit: BRIAN SNYDER/Reuters </span>
Jordan Spieth steps out onto the course at Augusta Credit: BRIAN SNYDER/Reuters


Score updates

Soren Kjeldsen has birdied the first to move to evens. Partner Carl Schwartzel hits par.

After bogeying the third, Westwood pulls it back at four with a birdie.

Steve Stricket is now on one under for the day thru nine. A good recovery after bogeying the first.

Dufner has birdied the third to move to three under.

Big cheer as big Phil strolls out to the first tee.


Matsuyama and Kaymer parred the first

<span>Lee Westwood gets his round under way with two pars and a bogey at three</span> <span>Credit: Reuters </span>
Lee Westwood gets his round under way with two pars and a bogey at three Credit: Reuters



Matt Kuchar pings it off the tee from the first onto the fairway. McIlroy punts it even further, obviously.

We're getting serious now.



Rory McIlroy makes his way to first tee. A bit of hubbub. No Bubba, though. He missed the cut.


Who's gonna shoot low today?


Score updates

Bruce Koepka is sliding out of contention, bogeying 4, 5 and 6 to slip to five over.

2012 runner-up Louis Oosthuizen has steadied himself after his triple bogey on one, hitting par on the next six holes.

<span>Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa putts on the second green</span> <span>Credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images </span>
Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa putts on the second green Credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images

Westwood and Leishman are both at evens for the day thru two, as are Els and Dufner.


Fitz losing his fizz

Fitzpatrick's body language is looking a wee slumpy. A tough couple of rounds after such a promising opening day. He bogeys ten, taking him to seven over. His mood can't be helped by the form of his partner, Snedeker, who nails a tricky par putt to stay at three over. Contrasting fortunes for the pairing today.


Grillo continues to struggle

Grillo is putting for birdie of the fringe of the green on nine. There's a steep downhill curve over the fringe lip, and it's enough to spook the Argentine, who gives plays it soft, too soft, and it doesn't make it over the lip. That'll be another bogey for him. He is now on three over for the day, eight over for the tournament.

His partner Justin Thomas has a long birdie putt but it doesn't have the legs. He rolls in for par. A good day so far for Thomas, who is one under for the round at the halfway stage.

Molinari has birdied at 13, for all you Italians out there. He is on six over for the tournament and evens for the day.

I like the certainty. Mickelson and Spieth are out at 19:10 BST.


Els and Dufner par the first

So there you have it.


Jimmy Walker moving himself into contention

The American birdies at two to take himself to one under. Two in two for Jimmy.


Jason Day is on fire

The Aussie makes it four birdies in a row on 15 to move to just two under. He alone is justifying the 'Moving Day' tag.

Stuard bogies three to move back to three over. His partner Russell Henley birdies at three to move to two under.


Westwood is out and about

After bogeying the first on his opening two rounds, Lee Westwood makes par to start his Augusta weekend.

This is a bit cruel, but it's okay because it's the Simpsons.


Brandt marches on

Snedeker on a roll, hitting a nice tee shot onto the fairway off eleven. Fitzpatrick swings his tee shot out right and lands in the rough stuff.

Grillo under cooks an attempted birdie at the par five eighth. He has about five foot for par. Justin Thomas is more aggressive with his attempt from the other side of the green but it rolls right. A seven-footer for him to move to nine unscathed. They both sink 'em.

<span>Brandt Snedeker reacts after sinking a birdie putt</span> <span>Credit: TANNEN MAURY/&nbsp;EPA </span>
Brandt Snedeker reacts after sinking a birdie putt Credit: TANNEN MAURY/ EPA


Birdie for Snedeker

Brandt Snedeker rolls in a beautiful birdie from 24 feet on 10. Almost worth an eagle on this hole. Mr Consistent today, is Brandt. Now at three over. 

Fitzpatrick saves par after finding himself in trouble off the tee.

Golf, Corrigan, golf is what you're reporting on. Stop watching horses run. Although they have stopped running now anyway.


Jason Day is moving

Finally, we have a charger, although you suspect Jason Day is coming from a little too far back to trouble the leaders. He runs through three consecutive birdies on 12, 13 and 14 to drop his score to three over.

<span>Jason Day hit three consecutive birdies after the turn</span> <span>Credit: Andrew Redington/Getty Images </span>
Jason Day hit three consecutive birdies after the turn Credit: Andrew Redington/Getty Images


Score updates

Jimmy Walker has birdied the first to move to two over. Brian Stuard birdies the second to match him.

Elsewhere, Brooks Koepka birdied the second before bogeying the fourth. Kevin Chappell has a birdie and a bogey thru three and sits at three over. Three pars for Paul Casey to begin his round. Amateur Stewart Hagetad birdies the second to take him to three over.


The contenders are almost out

Snedeker plays a lovely approach shot at nine, giving himself a 15-footer for birdie. It is downhill, left to right, but it rolls harmlessly to the left. Cautious shot on a fast green from Snedeker.

Fitzpatrick takes par.

 Mickelson and Spieth are due out in around an hour's time. We're edging towards business time.



Conditions much calmer at Augusta today, but it doesn't seem to be bringing those scores down.

Larry Mize continues to have a shocker, bogeying the ninth to take his score to four over for the day and ten over for the tournament.

 Branden Grace registers his first blemish of the day, bogeying eleven. He drops back to five over.

 Rickie Fowler. Bam.


News just in

Justin Thomas opts for the driver from seven and nails it down the middle of the fairway.

Justin Day birdies the twelfth to move to five under.


Par-tee time

Fitzpatrick misses his birdie putt. Speed was perfect, but put it about five feet to the right of the hole. Snedeker pars again. All pars for Brandt after birdieing the first.

Grillo squeaks in a par putt at the sixth...just. He blows his cheeks in relief.


Oosthuizen triple bogies the first

Grillo is moving back in the right direction, nailing a tricky birdie putt at six to return his card to seven over.

Fitzpatrick makes an excellent escape from the trees at the par five eighth to put himself in a promising position for a birdie. Snedeker overcooks his iron shot from the fairway and rolls to the left, but the American manages to avoid the trees. He has a decent lay up to the green.


But he doesn't


The pack isn't doing much chasing

Not a great deal of moving at the moment. Or shaking, for that matter. Branden Grace and Brandt Snedeker are the only men out on course who are under for the day, the South African thru nine on four over after birdieing the first and third holes.

Elsewhere, Mize, An, Grillo and Sullivan are all shooting three over for their rounds.



Snedeker solid as a rock, two-putting at 7 for par. He remains at four over. Fitzpatrick taps in after rolling a long birdie putt just short.

First Rickie joke of the day...


Don't bowl a wide...

JB Holmes gets some relief, birdieing the eighth after three preceding bogies.

Grillo's attempted birdie putt at the fourth is proper wonky, both on line and length. If this was cricket, that would have been a wide. The Argentine rolls it long and right of the hole by a good 20 foot. He recovers well to sink a tricky putt for par. That will make him feel a whole lot better. 

Justin Thomas, meanwhile, under hit his bunker shot, leaving himself too much to do for his par putt and he cards a bogey.


Grillo's grilling 

Emiliano Grillo's difficult start continues: he double bogeys the third. He has jumped from five over at the start of the day to eight over for the tournament.

Fitzpatrick finally sinks a putt to par the third. Snedeker does likewise. Steady golf from the American.

<span>Englishmen Matthew Fitzpatrick makes a shaky start to his round</span> <span>Credit: Andrew Redington/Getty Images </span>
Englishmen Matthew Fitzpatrick makes a shaky start to his round Credit: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

JB Holmes has bogied the seventh to move to two over for the day and nine over for the tournament.

"Oh, Justin," bemoans Justin Thomas as his tee shot off the fourth goes schewiff. 


Bogies on third

Bogies for Hadwin and Summerhays at the third and another for Fitzpatrick on the sixth. 

Berger eagles the eighth. 


Not So Moving Day

Grillo had the chance to rescue par with a ten foot putt but under cooks it. He moves to six over.

First man out on the course Jason Day is thru the front nine. Two birdies and two bogies for the Aussie means that he remains at six over par.

<span>Jason Day remains at six over</span> <span>Credit: Andrew Redington/Getty Images </span>
Jason Day remains at six over Credit: Andrew Redington/Getty Images


Score updates

James Hahn birdies the fourth to continue his up-and-down start. A bogey and two birdies for him so far.

Following the American on the fourth are Snedeker and Fitzpatrick. Snedeker rolls a birdie putt left of a fast-running green on the fourth. Fitzpatrick puts his par part to the right, so it's a bogey for the Englishman.

Hadwin has birdied the second to move to four over.

Curtis Luck double bogies at the sixth to move to nine over and three over for the round.


Berger bogies

Justin Thomas opens with a birdie and Grillo follows him in for a par.

Berger bogies the sixth to move back to eight over.

 Can't say I know the feeling.


They're all at it

Daniel Summerhays, Adam Hadwin, Emiliano Grillo and Justin Thomas all out on the course now. Summerhays and Hadwin both parred the first.


Concentrate, Corrigan.

Snedeker gets himself out of bunker bother and rolls in his par putt at the second after Fitzpatrick birdied.

James Hahn bogies the second to move to seven over.

Meanwhile, our man in Augusta seems more interested in following Cardiff vs Brentford. It's now 1 - 1 at the Cardiff City Stadium, for those interested, which I'm sure is none of you.


Holmes Under the Hammer

Larry Mize is not enjoying his Saturday thus far. He's bogied the third to take him to nine over for the tourney and three over for the day. Or maybe he is having a ball anyway. Lovely day for a round at Augusta.

JB Holmes bogies the fourth to move to eight over. Not a great start for those two.


Day oscillates, just like Spieth did yesterday

Jason Day has birdied the 6th to move back to evens for the day. 

Are you not watching, pal? He literally just did...on his first hole.


Snedeker makes snappy start

Brandt Snedeker birdies the first, continuing his momentum from yesterday. He moves to four over. Fitzpatrick nestles in his putt for par.

Branden Grace, meanwhile, birdied the third and parred the fourth, also taking him to four over. He is now two under for the day.

Parrage elsewhere.


An entire football team

Although most of them would call it 'soccer'. We now have eleven players out on the course, with Brandt Snedeker teeing off with English hopeful Matthew Fitzparick.

Ross Fisher and James Hahn both parred the first.


Reporters are getting it in the neck this week

After Bubba's outburst yesterday...


Bogeys everywhere

Curtis is out of Luck on the first (eh), starting his round with a bogey. His partner, Larry, has an even more Mize-rable start, however, dropping not one but two shots. 

Jason Day has bogied the fourth, taking him back up to seven over for the tournament and one over for the round.



Not many players out on the course at the moment, so here are some more pretty pictures of trees and that.


I honestly couldn't care less, Andrew


Belg-in with a chance

25-year-old Augusta first-timer Thomas Pieters is the other player tussling it out in that four-way lead. The Belgian tees off with Rickie Fowler at 19:50 BST.


Good Grace

Steady start from Branden Grace who follows up his birdie at the first with a par on two. His partner Daniel Berger goes back to evens for the round with a birdie.


Senor Serge

Sergio Garcia will join Hoffman as the last pairing. You can read James Corrigan's view on whether the Spaniard can control his nerves and grab a first major here.

<span>Sergio Garcia is in a four-way share of the lead at Augusta</span> <span>Credit: AP </span>
Sergio Garcia is in a four-way share of the lead at Augusta Credit: AP

Eduardo Molinari pars the first but his partner JB Holmes bogeys. Jason Day recovers at the third with a birdie.


Day bogeys the second

The Aussie moves to seven over


Contrasting fortunes

Grace birdies but Berger double bogeys.


One down

Day parred the first. Now Daniel Berger and Branden Grace are making their way to find their tee shots.

<span>Branden Grace of South Africa swings through his shot on the fairway</span> <span>Credit: David Cannon/Getty Images </span>
Branden Grace of South Africa swings through his shot on the fairway Credit: David Cannon/Getty Images


Being Charley Hoffman

Yesterday it was all about Dustin Hoffman. Kaufman is a bit more indie.


He plays on his own

Jason Day has smashed his tee shot straight down the fairway.


Which pairing are you most looking forward to?

I'm not sure it is going to be 'lit', though...


Fancy a round?


Starting the day

Jason will be with you in a jiffy. The Aussie starts on six over for the tournament.

<span>Jason Day is first out on the course at 15:20 BST</span> <span>Credit: Mike Segar/Reuters </span>
Jason Day is first out on the course at 15:20 BST Credit: Mike Segar/Reuters

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