Rose, Garcia tied for lead at Masters in prelude to finale

Garcia, meanwhile, is in position to win his first major championship in his 74th attempt.

This is Rose's fifth time holding the lead at Augusta after a round. Five-under won the green jacket a year ago.

At one under par, McIlroy was in red figures for just the second time this week and three off the lead shared by Sergio Garcia, Charley Hoffman, Thomas Pieters and Rickie Fowler.

"I liked my confidence on the greens".

"You can put a line on it and say most probably it will be the last one", Els said before the tournament started.

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum). Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, looks back on the seventh green during the third round of the Masters golf tournament Saturday, April 8, 2017, in Augusta, Ga.

What a leaderboard heading into the final round of the Masters. In the third round, everything clicked, especially on the back nine when he made five birdies in his last seven holes.

Garcia's best save became a birdie on 13 after his second shot disappeared off a bank toward the tributary of Rae's Creek. His short game had the answer for the only hiccoughs, with deft chips to set up his birdies at Nos. "If anything I think it will free me up a little bit".

Spieth had made up his mind, and just before he took the club back, the 2015 Masters victor told his caddie where he got his motivation.

The Spaniard' shook himself off and it was his drive that was the superior off the tee in the first hole of the play-off and Rose's poor shot forced him to layup.

Playing with Garcia in the final group, Rose had a 6-footer for birdie that would've given him a three-shot lead.

Danny Willett hits shank on way to opening quadruple bogey at Masters
Sometimes, as defending champion Danny Willett found out, it means outsized demands on your time and plenty of unwanted pressure. Nobilo, meanwhile, will be back in the TV tower, wondering what drama will unfold this year at the hole named Golden Bell.

"A one-shot lead starting the day doesn't mean much", Rose said.

Butch Harmon relishes a high-class leaderboard for the final round of the Masters and assesses Sergio Garcia's hopes of claiming a long-awaited maiden major victory at Augusta.

He will be paired with Spieth in the penultimate group.

If you are into sentiment or karma, then Garcia is your man. Sunday marks the 60th anniversary of the birth of Seve Ballesteros, the greatest golfer from Garcia's native Spain and a two-time Masters victor.

"I just, you know, "what would Arnie do" was my way of expressing it to Michael, which we all know is exactly what he would have done".

Not to be overlooked was a 10-foot birdie chance on the 14th, and a 5-foot birdie putt he missed on No. 11, the toughest hole on the back nine. He almost holed a wedge from the fairway on the 15th for another birdie and wound up with a 68. A pair of terrible wedge shots led to a nine on the par-5 15th hole, a score that sent him plummeting off the leaderboard.

There are 18 players within six shots of the lead, a margin that can shrink as quickly as a couple of crowd-pleasing eagles on the 13th and 15th holes.

With his five-year exemption for winning the 2012 British Open about to expire, Els will not get an automatic invitation back to Augusta next year.

"I don't even know how much it would mean to be able to join both of my idols as a Masters victor", he said.

Three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson had also made a flying start with birdies on the first two holes, but then ran up a double bogey six on the third after finding sand off the tee.

Not since 1998 have the last two players on the course gone to the 18th tied for the lead, and both had their chances to win. "We made our goal which was to shoot four (under par) which was going to give us a chance tomorrow". Pieters shot 75 and is tied with Lee Westwood at 215, two shots behind Adam Scott and one behind Charl Schwartzel, two former Masters champions. 2015 champion Jordan Spieth shot a tremendous 68, which included five birdies.

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