2016 Masters: Spieth hangs on to lead after disastrous finish

The leader, the chasers and the Aussies: our wrap of a tumultuous third round of the 2016 Masters.

We are set for a fascinating final day of the 2016 Masters Tournament after a bogey/double-bogey finish from Jordan Spieth brought him back to the pack just one stroke ahead of the field.

A tumultuous day saw gusty winds wreak havoc with the Masters field with many golfers backing off of shots as they struggled to hold on to a decent score. American Billy Horschal saw his ball roll back into the water on the 15th hole after he had marked and replaced his ball.

It wasn’t pretty out there with all but five golfers finishing at even par or worse.

The leader
Jordan Spieth finished the third round where he started it, one stroke ahead. But it was anything but a normal round. Spieth got off to a great start and opened up a four shot lead on Rory McIlroy at the turn but a disastrous three-putt at the 12th hole had the crowd gasping. The resilient, defending Masters champion bounced back with a superb birdie at the par-3 12th before following it up with two more at the 14th and 15th to open up a three shot lead over Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama but drama was to follow.

Spieth sprayed his drive left on the final two holes resulting in a bogey, double-bogey finish to tumble back to the pack, just a shot ahead of American Smylie Kaufman.

Spieth bounced back beautifully mid-round today, can he do it again tomorrow after a finish which will leave doubts in his mind.

The chasers
Smylie Kaufman will find himself in the final group of a golf tournament for the very first time but it was 58-year-old Bernard Langer who has everyone talking. Langer rolled back the years to his Masters victories in 1985 and 1993 to shoot a 2-under par 70 and give himself a shot at becoming the oldest ever golfer to win a major.

Japan’s Hideki Matusyama is tied with Langer on 1-under par, two shots behind Spieth giving himself a chance to make history and become the first-ever Japanese major winner.

The Aussies
Jason Day played some superb golf to get himself back into the tournament but even in the trying conditions, Day will feel frustrated he didn’t finish closer to Spieth. Day made bogey on both the 12th and 16th holes to spoil an otherwise superb back nine. But Day played great golf to be in a tie for third place with Danny Willett and Dustin Johnson, all well within reach of a green jacket.

A missed birdie opportunity at the second hole may have been the confidence boost Adam Scott needed who spent the rest of the day scrambling for par. He held on to his overnight score of 4-over par until a bogey at the eighth hole began a series of poor holes for Scott who appeared to lose his rhythm. Scott eventually finished at 7-over par and too far back to seriously challenge tomorrow.

Cameron Smith got off to a bad start with a double-bogey at the opening hole but bounced back with birdie at the par-5 second hole. But it wasn’t pretty after that leaking seven shots on his last nine holes.

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