Augusta, April 8: Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia head into the final round of the Masters tied for the lead on six-under-par, but a jammed leaderboard has set the stage for one of the closest tussles for the Green Jacket in recent years.
England’s Rose shot a superb 67 in ideal conditions at Augusta National to surge up the standings, while Spaniard Garcia hung tough for a 70 to keep his quest for a maiden Major title on track.
Lurking ominously is a a pack of Americans, led by Rickie Fowler who is just one shot off the lead. However, the leaders will probably be more concerned about 2015 champion Jordan Spieth, who shot a 68 to put himself into contention one shot further adrift on four-under-par with compatriots Ryan Moore and Charley Hoffman.
Two more former winners, Adam Scott (2013) and Charl Schwartzel (2011), are close behind on three-under-par and two-under-par respectively.
Rose, who has one Major in the 2013 US Open, noted that he would continue to play aggressive golf.
“I’m in a great position going into tomorrow. I think had I been two or three shots behind, I still would have felt that I was in a great position, which leads me to understand everybody’s mind‑set behind me. So it means that I have to stay positive tomorrow. I have to continue to play good, aggressive golf, as I did today,” said Rose., who tied for second in the 2015 Masters.
Many will be rooting for Garcia, who has come agonisingly close to winning that elusive Major on a number of occasions. Asked that it would mean to him to join compatriots Seve Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazabal as Masters champions, he replied: “I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but it would mean… I don’t even know how much it would mean to be able to join both of my idols as a Masters winner. It would be nice to have a chance and hopefully do it.
“Jose sent me a beautiful message on Wednesday night and he has a good touch when it comes down to those things. It really meant a lot.”