Gold goes with green, right? Justin Rose will like to think so.
The gold medal-winning Olympian hasn’t finished outside the top-25 at the Masters in his last seven appearances – and he goes into the last round at Augusta National alongside friend Sergio Garcia in a big to win a green jacket and a second major.
Rose has had 16 birdies so far this week, the most in the field, and for him, this is an opportunity he wants to grasp.
“I’m in a great position,” he said. “I think had I been two or three shots behind, I still would have felt that I was in great position, which leads me to understand everybody’s mind‑set behind me.
“So it means that I have to stay positive. I have to continue to play good, aggressive golf, as I did today.”
The former US Open champ blitzed Augusta’s back nine in 31 blows, the lowest of anyone in the third round, carding five birdies in a seven hole stretch.
His five-under 67 was the lowest round of the day and could give England – with a record 11 players in the field this week – back-to-back Masters champions.
Despite playing alongside Garcia in the final group, Rose knows that Spieth – yet to finish worse than second at Augusta – is always going to be dangerous on a Sunday afternoon at Augusta.
“It’s a second‑shot golf course, and he’s a good iron player,” said Rose. “He’s very sharp with that. He's got a great golfing brain. This is a very strategic golf course and you have to make good, smart decisions out there. It tempts you at times. It can dangle the carrot. You need to be on top of your thinking and he’s very good at that and his putting speaks for itself.
“I’m certainly not getting ahead of myself. Tomorrow is a huge day. I have an opportunity. That's all you want but really it starts on the back nine on Sunday.”
Charley Hoffman saw his grasp on the tournament slip when he found the water at the 16th. The world No.52 played his last five holes in two-over to slip back, but is only two off the lead and will play with Ryan Moore in the third last pairing. Spieth will play with Rickie Fowler, whose one-under 71 left him one back.
ADAM SCOTT -3
Almost non-existent during TV coverage yet sits just three off the lead. Didn’t have a bogey all day. “I'm going to have to lean on my ball‑striking tomorrow, and hit it a couple of feet closer on a few holes to give me realistic chances a bit more often.”
JEFF KNOX 76*
The famed Augusta National marker was beaten by Jason Day by a reported eight* shots. What did Knox say to it? Nothing. He’s not allowed to do interviews. Still, a wee knock at Augusta on Masters weekend means he’s still the coolest guy in golf.
JOHN RAHM LEVEL
A double bogey at the 12th busted his momentum. And bogeys at 16 and 17 made things worse. Still, it’s outrageous for someone so new to the scene to be playing so well on such a course. No wonder they’re already calling him Rahmbo.
RORY MCILROY LEVEL
Started brightly and played very well tee to green but just didn’t hole any putts. “I think I probably could have shot a 67 or 68, but just a few too many wasted opportunities.” Asked if he can win, he said: “I think I can, yeah, but I need to play the round of my life.”