Home UK News Masters 2018: Patrick Reed leads Rory McIlroy by three into final round

Masters 2018: Patrick Reed leads Rory McIlroy by three into final round

by InterSpaceReporter


Masters 2018: Jordan Spieth & Patrick Reed feature in best shots of day three
2018 Masters
Venue: Augusta National Dates: 5-8 April
Coverage: Watch highlights of the first two days before live and uninterrupted coverage of the weekend’s action on BBC Two and up to four live streams online. Listen on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Radio 5 live sports extra. Read live text commentary, analysis and social media on the BBC Sport website and the sport app. Full details
Masters third-round leaderboard
-14 P Reed (US); -11 R McIlroy (NI); -9 R Fowler (US); -8 J Rahm (Sp); -7 H Stenson (Swe); -6 T Fleetwood (Eng), M Leishman (Aus), B Watson (US); -5 J Thomas (US), J Spieth (US); -4 D Johnson (US)
Selected others: -3 J Rose (Eng); level M Fitzpatrick (Eng); +2 P Casey (Eng); +4 T Woods (US); +6 T Hatton (Eng); +7 P Mickelson (US), I Poulter (Eng)

Rory McIlroy kept alive his hopes of a first Masters title with a bogey-free seven-under 65 but Patrick Reed takes a three-shot lead into the final round.

Northern Irishman McIlroy, who will become the sixth man to win the career Grand Slam of golf’s four majors if he wins at Augusta, is second on 11 under.

Two ahead overnight to lead outright for the first time in a major, world number 24 Reed made two eagles in a 67.

Rickie Fowler (65) is third on nine under, one ahead of Jon Rahm (65).

The last four champions at Augusta had already won in that season, but of those within six of the lead after two rounds, only McIlroy, world number one Dustin Johnson and number two Justin Thomas have tasted victory so far this year.

McIlroy made par from this picturesque, if daunting position

McIlroy made a superb start playing alongside Henrik Stenson in the penultimate group.

He birdied three of the first six holes and then a chip from the undulations off to the right of the eighth green hit the flag and rattled into the cup for an eagle to give him a share of the lead on nine under

It was a five-under front nine from the world number seven, his lowest at Augusta National.

At the 13th, as torrential rain began to fall, his second plummeted into the brightly coloured azaleas to the left of the green and he did well to salvage par.

He birdied the par-five 15th and then holed from 17 feet for another at the last to equal his lowest Masters round.

McIlroy has history against American Reed, having been edged out by one hole in a classic Ryder Cup duel at Hazeltine in 2016.

A defiant McIlroy said: “Patrick has a three-shot lead but I feel like all the pressure is on him. He has got to protect that and he has some pretty big-time players behind him.”

Three of the last four winners at Augusta were ahead at the halfway stage and Reed calmly moved clear again with his fifth run of three consecutive birdies this week.

He dropped a shot at the short 12th but coaxed a downhill putt in at the next for his first eagle of the tournament, before swiftly adding another at the 15th by holing a magnificent chip over a greenside bunker.

Reed missed a short putt to bogey the 16th and a seven-foot birdie chance at the last but is the first man since Lee Westwood in 2010 to play his first three rounds under 70.

Englishman Tommy Fleetwood, level par at the halfway stage and nine shots off the pace, leaped up the leaderboard with five successive birdies on the back nine.

But the 27-year-old from Southport, who missed the cut on his Masters debut last year, three-putted the final green for a 66 to drop back to six under.

Asked about his score he said: “I need to go out and do the same on Sunday. All I can do is try shoot the same score again. If I can get going on that front nine, having watched so many Masters Sundays, it will be a joy to be part of one.”

American favourites in the chasing pack

Former world number one Jordan Spieth, the 2015 Masters champion, began the third round level with McIlroy at four under but dropped two shots on the front nine, before birdies at inward par fives took him to five under, alongside close friend Thomas, the PGA champion, who had three birdies in a 70.

Dustin Johnson’s challenge was checked by driving into the trees and making a double bogey at the 11th and he is one further back.

More to follow.


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