Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama will take a four-shot lead into the final round of the 2021 Masters after a stellar third-round performance in Augusta on Saturday.
Matsuyama, who is yet to win a Major in his career, made the most of the opportunity after a rain-affected day in Georgia that saw another round of rollercoaster scores across.
The 29-year-old started moving day with one birdie on the front nine but after the delay in play due to lightening in the area, he kicked into the gear with four birdies and an eagle after the turn to sign off with a stunning seven-under-par 65. It was also the first bogey-free round of the whole week at the Masters.
While many of the other challengers battled for consistency, Matsuyama rocketed to the summit of the leaderboard, where he will head into Sunday at the Masters on 11 under par for the week.
His closest rivals are Xander Schauffele, Marc Leishman and Justin Rose, who all settled their respective third rounds on seven under par.
Schauffele looked the more dangerous of the contenders and was oozing in confidence throughout his round – rolling in a stunning 60-foot putt for eagle on the par-5 15th hole.
Overnight-leader Rose hinted at possible breakaways from the rest of the pack and found himself on nine under early in his round but was forced to battle the testing course for another even-par round.
Similarly, Jordan Spieth showed encouraging signs of making a move for the top of the leaderboard but a bit of an up-and-down day saw him shoot an even-par round of 72 to remain on five under. Will Zalatoris and Corey Conners are alongside Spieth with the Canadian producing one of the moments of the day with an ace on the par-3 6th hole.
It was another quiet day for the remaining South Africans in the field with Charl Schwartzel the best-placed ahead of Sunday’s final round. The 2011 champion also provided positive glimpses early on in his round but in the end remained on over par for the week.
Louis Oosthuizen also carded a round of 72 that saw him sign off on two over par, while Christiaan Bezuidenhout battled hard on moving day, ending on four over.
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