Masters 2019 Live Blog: Tiger Woods cards five-under 67, his lowest round at Augusta since 2011, trails Francesco Molinari by two
Kevin C. Cox
It's moving day at the Masters, and it promises to be one of the more memorable moving days the tournament has ever had. How could it not given this leader board through 36 holes, which features five major champions tied at the top, Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson just one back, and names like Jon Rahm, Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler all within striking distance. There are so many in contention at Augusta National that it's proven difficult to keep track. On Friday, while Woods was making his second-round charge, Xander Schauffele was quietly shooting the round of the tournament, a seven-under 65 that also has him within one of the lead. Did we mention Justin Thomas and Bryson DeChambeau and Matt Kuchar and Ian Poulter are all firmly in the mix as well? Like we said, it's been chaotic.
Will Saturday make the picture any clearer? Probably not, and that's a good thing. All we can ask for is a similar crowded leader board heading into Sunday, when all hell will break loose. For now, the one-shot edge on the field belongs to Brooks Koepka, Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen, Francesco Molinari and Jason Day. The last four names in that group are all looking to notch a second major title, while Koepka can earn a remarkable third major victory in his last four tries and the fourth of his career.
The leaders, plus Woods, Johnson, Schauffele & Co. won't be on the course for some time, and we'll have all the important updates from the final groups when they get rolling. For now, we'll keep you updated on any notable action from the morning wave, which features a marquee pairing of Marc Leishman and Rory McIlroy, each at even par and both in need of a low round on Saturday to get back in this thing.
Check out the pin positions for the third round of the 2019 Masters:
6:50 p.m.: Francesco Molinari makes the putt for the clutch up-and-down at the 54th hole. That's a six-under 66 on Saturday at Augusta National from the Italian, who makes it 42 holes without a bogey, only making one all week.
Remarkable stuff from the Open champion, who will take a two-shot lead into Sunday looking for his second major title, and he'll be paired with Tiger Woods and Brooks Koepka. Of course, Molinari was paired with Tiger at Carnoustie when the Italian won his first major title, so he's in some familiar territory.
"I wish I had him to only worry about, but there are others who are going to come out and try to shoot a low one," Molinari told CBS' Amanda Balionis.
6:47 p.m.: As he has done all week at Augusta National, Molinari shows no sign of letting up—hitting the difficult 35-yard bunker shot to about 3 feet. Just remarkable stuff from the Open champion. He makes that, and he owns a two-shot lead into the early start tomorrow at the Masters.
6:43 p.m.: The tee shot at the 18th hole by Molinari headed up the right side but got a favorable kick to the left. He has a little tree trouble, requiring a slight fade approach. But Molinari tugs the approach and he heads into the front left bunker. Still, the Italian has gone without a bogey in 41 holes ... so we'd fully expect him to get this up and down and keep the two-shot cushion.
6:35 p.m.: Francesco Molinari just comes up shy from 38 feet at the 17th hole, giving him a par as the Italian heads to the 18th hole with a two-shot lead. Make that 42 straight holes without a birdie. And for the way Molinari has played, we'd expect him to add another birdie at 18 -- at least another par. Thee guy is unflappable.
Brooks Koepka just barely misses another birdie at the 18th hole from 13 feet, giving him a par with a 68, and leaving him three back of Molinari.
6:31 p.m.: Dustin Johnson found the trees to the right at 18, and a lay-up leads to a closing bogey for DJ. For someone as talented as DJ, that'll be a disappointing third round—carding a two-under 70 on a day when scoring was so low. DJ will be 8-under and currently five back of Molinari's lead .. as of now.
Molinari is on the green in 2 at 17 with a chance to add yet another birdie. He's 6-under through 16 on his round and at -13.
6:20 p.m.: Xander Schauffele trips up again at 18—bogeying the home hole after an errant drive to card a third-round 70, which puts him four back of Molinari. Schauffele won't be happy with the way he played down the stretch—bogeying 15 and 18 after holding a share of the lead for a solid amount of this third round.
Meanwhile, Molinari from the back fringe at 16 for his approach putt puts it within two feet. The relatively easy tap-in goes down and Molinari heads to 17 with his two-shot lead over Tiger and Finau, with Koepka one behind after Koepka narrowly missed another birdie at 17.
That's 41 straight holes without a bogey for Molinari, who only has one bogey all week at Augusta National. The guy is an Italian machine.
6:15 p.m.: Francesco Molinari continues to be straight cold-blooded and two-putts for birdie at the 15th hole. His approach putt came up about six feet shy, leaving him a slippery downhill birdie. But the Open champion knocked it in to extend the lead to 2 shots. That's four straight birdies for the Italian—just remarkable stuff from the Champion Golfer of the Year.
6:11 p.m.: Tiger's birdie putt juuuuuust slides by the left edge and he cleans up his par for a five-under 67, his lowest round at the Masters since the 2011 final round. Through 54 holes he's at 11 under, currently one back of Molinari, who will likely reach 13 under shortly at the 15th. Brooks Koepka just missed his birdie putt at 16, which means that barring a Koepka birdie at 17 or 18, Woods will likely be in the final threesome tomorrow morning. Big, if true.
6:06 p.m.: Tiger pulls his approach a bit from 166, but he's safely aboard the green and will have a long look at birdie. Back at 16, Koepka sticks one close and has a great look to get to 11 under.
6 p.m.: Tiger just hit a LASER beam at the 18th. Only three birdies have been made all day at the 18th. Can Tiger make it a fourth? He's in a good spot in the fairway to do so.
Lot of action still going on behind Woods. Dustin Johnson is now lurking, as is Brooks Koepka, who just eagled 15 to reach 10 under. Here's the up to date leader board, which is freaking electric:
5:54 p.m.: Good effort from Tiger just slides by on the left side and he takes his par. Let's see if he can pick up one more at the 18th, which has not yielded many birdies on Saturday.
5:52 p.m.: Good drive from Tiger at the 17th left him with 153 yards to the pin and he hit one pure, but it was just a little too smooth. Came up about 25-30 feet short. Still, it's another look at birdie. Back at 14, Molinari just made his third in a row to grab the solo lead at 12 under. How about this stat from the AP's Doug Ferguson:
Prepare yourselves, Tiger fans, Molinari is going to steal one again.
5:45 p.m.: Tiger may be the story right now, but don't forget about Francesco Molinari, who has played some decent golf in the last year. He just made birdies at the 12th and 13th holes to tie Finau and Woods at 11 under. Got to like his chances to be the solo leader at the end of the day.
5:42 p.m.: BANG BANG BANG! He's tied for the lead at on Saturday THE MASTERS! Can youuuuuu diggggg it!!!!!
5:36 p.m.: Tiger STRIPES one at 16, stares it down and it sticks about five feet from the hole. Goodness gracious. Hold on to your butts.
5:32 p.m.: Tiger taps in the two-footer for birdie at the 15th hole to get within one of Tony Finau's lead.
After a bogey at No. 5 dropped Tiger back to 5-under, Tiger has played the next 10 holes in 5-under par (birdies at 6, 7, 8, 13 and 15) to keep pace with the lead.
5:30 p.m.: Tiger plays a tremendous chip from behind the green to about 2 feet, setting up what should be a birdie to move Tiger within one of the lead.
5:24 p.m.: Tiger after his second shot at the par-5 15th ends up over the back of the green: "That was a 240-yard 5-iron." It was just two yards too far for Tiger, whose ball wound up just off the back edge.
Tiger will need to get up and down for a birdie that would bring him to 10-under to get within one of Tony Finau's lead.
5:19 p.m.: Xander Schauffele continues to execute shot after shot and is playing beautifully. The young American will have about 10 feet at the 14th hole to tie Tony Finau atop the lead and get to 5-under on his round.
Tiger's in the fairway at the 15th hole. He might be slightlyblocked out on the left side of the fairway, though, so he'll either need to play a hooking approach into the par 5 or lay up.
5:14 p.m.: Ottimo lavaro, Molinari! The Italian nearly aced the par-3 12th hole—sticking his nine-iron within six inches of the cup. That upcoming birdie will move him to 10-under, which will tie Xander Schauffele one behind Tony Finau, who's now in the clubhouse after his sensational 64.
5:10 p.m.: Tony Finau makes it three rounds in the 64s today—joining Patrick Cantlay and Webb Simpson—and gets in the clubhouse at 11-under. What a round for Finau ... he was out in 30 and never made a bogey on Saturday. Tremendous stuff from Finau. His 11-under lead might be matched by the end of the day, but he'll certainly be in one of the final groups on Sunday at Augusta.
That Sunday tee time will be moved up, as Augusta National has made the decision to move up tee times because of the inclement weather expected later on Sunday. Here's the full story for all the details.
5:09 p.m.: Tiger's approach at the 14th hole misses the necessary slope to get back toward the hole—a disappointing miss from the middle of the fairway.
5 p.m.: Tiger gets aggressive from 70 yards, playing a low spinner that checks up about six feet past the hole. And..... BANG! He holes the birdie to get to nine under, two back of Finau, who is in the fairway at the 18th. Things are happening, folks.
4:56 p.m.: At the 11th, Louis Oosthuizen produces a roar by nearly holing out for eagle. He makes birdie to get to get under.
4:55 p.m.: Scratch that. He did not have a look at the green. HOWEVA, he did lay up to a nice position and will have a little flip wedge in. Considering what could have happened, par will be okay, but he could still really use a birdie.
4:54 p.m.: What. A. Break. Tiger's tee shot is not only safe, but he's got a look at the green. Bullet dodged!
4:50 p.m.: Oh boy. Tiger pulls his tee shot at the 13th and he could be in trouble. No word from the CBS crew on whether he's safe or not. We'll update accordingly. This could be a real dagger.
4:47 p.m.: After one of shots of the day from Xander Schauffele, he misses the short birdie putt at the 11th. That hurts. Would have been picking one up on the field there. Speaking of shots of the day, Rickie Fowler just got up and down from behind the green at the 17th with an incredible chip. He's at eight under for the tournament, and a par at 18 would give him a five-under 67. Of course, he'd love a 66.
4:46 p.m.: Tiger's birdie effort comes up just short and he cleans it up for his fourth par in a row. He's in a good spot at eight under with the par-5 13th coming up. Needs a birdie there. Up at 16, Tony Finau holes a clutch par putt to stay at 11 under.
4:40 p.m.: Back in the 11th fairway, Xander Schauffele just pured an iron into the green that literally hit the flag. What a shot. He's inside of 10 feet for birdie to get to 10 under.
4:38 p.m.: Tiger's pitching wedge at the par-3 12th hole catches the back part of the green. He'll have about 20 feet or so for a birdie try to get him back within two of Tony Finau's lead.
4:36 p.m.: Tony Finau continues to play lights-out, rolling in the downhill four-footer at 15 with perfect pace. He's eight-under for his round—and now 11-under for the tournament—heading to the gettable hole location at 16. What a round for Finau, who leads by two over Simpson, Schuaffele and Molinari.
4:34 p.m.: A great try from Tiger at the 11th hole, but his putt from 33 feet comes just shy. It's a tap-in par as he moves to the par-3 12th, where he hit a tremendous shot yesterday before the rain delay.
Tony Finau's eagle try from 40 feet or so at 15 comes up about 4 feet shy, leaving himself with a tough putt upcoming for his birdie.
4:31 p.m.: Miraculously, Tiger Woods had a perfect little window into the front hole location at the 11th hole. And just 155 yards away. Tiger takes advantage, sticking his approach to about 30 feet for another unlikely birdie for Tiger at 11.
Francesco Molinari is the latest player getting to 9-under with a two-putt birdie at the par-5 eighth hole. The guy is robotically consistent, and the Champion Golfer of the Year continues to play like one of the world's elite players here at Augusta.
4:24 p.m.: Tiger has always struggled with the tee shot at the ultra difficult 11th hole at the start of Amen Corner. He's played the hole in 1-under through two days, but he's sailed his drive way right today. He may have a little window through the trees to the right, but it'll be a difficult par upcoming for Tiger.
Tony Finau's second shot into the par-5 15th hole finds the green. He'll have about 40 feet down the hill for his eagle bid as he tries to extend his lead even more.
4:20 p.m.: Tiger's birdie try at the 10th again just slides by on the high side. He'll stay at 8-under with the two-footer upcoming.
Meanwhile our leader Tony Finau bombed his tee shot at the par-5 15th hole 314 yards, so he'll have 213 yards for his approach upcoming.
4:18 p.m.: Brooks Koepka has only made one par through eight holes—four birdies and three bogeys have him at 8-under and two back of Tony Finau after Koepka's latest birdie at No. 8. We'd guess Koepka will want to be a little more consistent coming down the stretch. But he'll take the birdies.
4:13 p.m.: From 187 yards at the 10th hole, Tiger puts it on the green, about 25 feet away for birdie. He's two back Tony Finau's lead, and one behind Webb Simpson (in with a 64) and Xander Schauffele (who just made the turn in 33)
4:10 p.m.: The smokewagon (that's Tiger Woods' driver, by the way) is in the fairway at the 10th hole as Tiger's entering the back nine one back of the lead. Tiger played the final 10 holes in 5-under on Friday. Another special closing to his round will put him in a position for his fifth green jacket.
4:05 p.m.: What an incredible birdie for Tony Finau at the 13th hole! His approach found the back bunker, and his escape put him about 15 feet away. But Finau holes the improbable putt to be the first player to get to double digits all week.
What an incredible round for Finau!
Webb Simpson makes par at the 18th hole to match Patrick Cantlay with an eight-under round of 64. Webb now finds himself one back of the lead as he goes into the clubhouse. A tremendous round from the 2012 U.S. Open champion.
4:00 p.m.: Tiger Woods cards a two-under 34 to make the turn just one back of the lead. The missed 10-footer for eagle at No. 8 will be a disappointment, but he's keeping pace with the leaders, which is the most important thing for him.
Meanwhile, putting woes continue with the group of Brooks Koepka and Adam Scott. Koepka bogeys the seventh hole to drop to two back of the leaders.
3:57 p.m.: A little window of opportunity presented itself at the ninth for Tiger from the right pine straw. His approach just comes up short of the green, but it won't be the most difficult up and down with the right-hand hole location.
Xander Schauffele moves back within a tie of the lead with a two-putt birdie at the eight hole. Schauffele ties Tony Finau and Webb Simpson atop the leaderboard once again.
3:55 p.m.: Jason Day makes his first birdie of the day, knocking it close at the par-3 sixth hole to move within one of the lead. His playing partner, Francesco Molinari, rolls in a birdie, too, to get within one. There's so much happening here, it's tough to keep track. Imagine being a CBS producer trying to show all the important shots of the 10 or so players in the mix. Incredible action on Moving Day at Augusta.
3:52 p.m.: We might've had a carry-over of momentum killed from Tiger Woods at the ninth hole, as his drive sails way right, and he'll have some tree trouble. Tiger birdied the ninth hole each of the first two rounds hitting tremendous drawing tee shots. This time, not so much.
Don't count out Rickie Fowler! Rickie just eagled the par-5 13th by chipping in to get to 7-under. He needed that to stay in the mix here with all the low rounds happening on Saturday.
3:49 p.m.: If there was ever a disappointing way to record your third birdie in a row at Augusta National, somehow, Tiger just accomplished that. After that exquisite second shot in to the par-5 eighth for Tiger, his 10-footer for eagle justtt slides by. The birdie moves Tiger to one back of Tony Finau's and Webb Simpson's lead. But that was a missed opportunity to get to a share of the lead for Tiger.
3:43 p.m.: Here comes Tiger Woods. Birdies at 6 and 7, and now a perfect fairway wood at No. 8 has Tiger hole high in 2. He'll have about 10 feet for eagle—which would tie him for the lead.
Webb Simpson justtt missed another birdie at the 17th hole, but he'll take a couple pars coming in. That'll tie Patrick Cantlay's eight-under round. Simpson hits the fairway with his metalwood at 18, so a par and he gets into the clubhouse at 9-under.
3:35 p.m.: Tiger Woods, who's just 1-under on the par 5s this year, pipes another drive down the middle here at the par-5 eighth hole. Tiger made a bogey at No. 8 yesterday and a par on Thursday—so we'll see if he can pick one up here to move closer to the lead. Crucial second shot for him upcoming.
Webb Simpson remains on a historic pace as he puts his second shot on the 17th hole to about 20 feet below the hole. He'll have a chance to get to 9-under, which would give him a real chance at the tournament-best score of 63.
Brooks Koepka has yet to make a par on Saturday—bogeying the fourth now to fall back to even-par on the day and he's now 2 back of the lead. Adam Scott also bogeys No. 4 to move back to 7-under. His putter looks dreadful thus far. Scott was spotted before his tee time trying out a new putter with a different putting stroke, but he stuck with the same putter he had the past two rounds. Not going so hot so far.
3:28 p.m.: Webb Simpson holes his birdie putt at the 16th! He's now 8-under on his round, matching Patrick Cantlay at that mark, and Webb has two more holes to make birdies coming in. Amazing—he has a chance to tie Nick Price's 63, the tournament record.
And Tiger Woods just hit it to a foot with his approach at No. 7. He's going to move to 7-under, and just two back of the lead of Simpson, Tony Finau and Xander Schuaffele—who just birdied the par-3 sixth hole. IT'S ALL HAPPENING!
3:25 p.m.: Tony Finau had a look at another birdie at the 10th hole but just comes up shy with the putt. He remains one up on everybody else as he heads to Amen Corner.
3:21 p.m.: Tiger PIPES his drive again at the seventh hole. He nearly holed a long putt for birdie yesterday—we'll see if he has a chance today to do the same.
Ouch: Adam Scott had a four-footer at 4 to tie Tony Finau atop the lead and misses the putt. His putter has looked shaky already on Saturday, and he's still firmly in the mix.
Webb Simpson, meanwhile, made the tremendous par after a poor second shot at the par-5 15th. And he just hit his tee shot at the 16th to about 14 feet. Webb is 7-under on his round and just one back of Finau's lead.
3:19 p.m.: OK, Tiger stays in the hunt with a birdie at the par-3 sixth hole. He gets back to within three of Tony Finau's lead. There are so many leaders hitting quality shots right now—CBS' producers have their work cut out for them today. They haven't even shown Tiger's putt yet, and he rolled it in three minutes ago.
That's a crucial bounce-back birdie after the bogey at No. 5. Tiger got his round going starting with the ninth hole on Saturday. We'll see if he can conjure something special again on Moving Day, as others around him continue to move at a rapid pace.
3:13 p.m.: Tiger drops his first shot of the day—his third bogey of the week at the newly redesigned fifth hole. Tiger's back to 6-under, which is now four back of Tony Finau.
Webb Simpson now has the low round on the course, as he birdied the 14th hole to get to 7-under for his round, 8-under total, now trailing Finau by one. Also at 8-under: Brooks Koepka, who birdied 2 and 3 after bogeying No. 1. And Adam Scott and Xander Schauffele are also at 8-under.
One more birdie for Webb, and he'll tie Patrick Cantlay's impressive 64 for rounds of the day. Webb has his work cut out for him at the par-5 15th, as his second-shot approach went right of the right greenside bunker. He'll do well just to make par here.
3:03 p.m.: Patrick Cantlay's third round was impressive, but Tony Finau's opening nine is truly historic. He has about 12 feet for birdie at the ninth hole—and he's already 6-under on his first eight holes. Finau had a chance for the first sub-30 nine-hole score in Masters history, but he misses the uphill bender to settle for a 30. This is incredible from Finau—it's just the sixth 30 in Masters history, and it has him in the lead by himself.
This front-nine is a thing of beauty from Finau.
2:54 p.m.: Tiger just misses another birdie try at the par-3 fourth. That's his fourth decent attempt at birdie, but none of them have dropped. With these low numbers from every other player, Tiger's going to need his putter to get hot to keep pace.
Justin Harding and Xander Schauffele each have two birdies in a row, adding another one at the third hole. They're one back of Tony Finau, who owns the solo lead on a crowded leader board of elite talent.
2:51 p.m.: Out of all these great early rounds, Tony Finau is distancing himself. He just eagled the par-5 eighth hole—he's 6-under through his first 8 holes. That's amazing! He has a chance to make the turn at 29. Finau's the first player to get to 9-under for the tournament—just amazing golf happening on Moving Day at Augusta National.
2:47 p.m.: Adam Scott is the first to escape from this eight-player pack to get to 8-under par with a birdie at the first. It's apparent that the birdies are going to fly on Day 3—as early scores by players like Patrick Cantlay indicate.
Webb Simpson is one of those players going super low on Saturday. The 2012 U.S. Open champion is now 6-under through 13 holes and 7-under overall after an eagle 3 at 13—one back of Scott's lead.
Tiger and Poulter both thread solid shots into the par-3 fourth hole, as they'll both have chances for birdie upcoming.
2:41 p.m.: We now have EIGHT players tied for the lead! Justin Harding and Xander Schauffele both birdied the par-5 second hole to tie the leaders, and Tony Finau is still 4-under early in his round, as those three have joined the five tied for the overnight 36-hole lead. Could this be any better?
At No. 3, Tiger just comes up short with his birdie putt at No. 3 as his approach spun to about 15 feet above the hole at the par-4 third hole. It was a tough birdie putt as he came in from the right side to this right-hand hole location.
At 18, Hideki Matsuyama just finished up with a double bogey to negate some of the great work. He had it to 5-under at one point, but he'll finish up at 3-under. It's still a great round—but it could've been a lot better.
2:29 p.m.: Phil nearly holes his bunker shot at the par-3 fourth but will gladly take the easy tap-in par. He's one back of the lead with the 2-under through 4 start.
Tiger's on the green with a birdie putt upcoming on No. 2, but he's 32 feet away after the tee shot that just found the bunker. Tiger gives the birdie putt a good run—but comes up just shy. It'll be a par-par start for Tiger.
Patrick Cantlay is in the clubhouse with his bogey-free, 8-under 64. What a round from the talented 27-year-old. It's a historic move up the leader board on Saturday—only Nick Price's 63 in 1986 was better, and Cantlay matches Jack's third-round 63 in 1965 at Augusta National. Special stuff from this talented young American. We'll see where his six-under total puts him at the days end—but he'll likely be within shouting distance come tomorrow.
2:25 p.m.: Patrick Cantlay found the fairway bunker at the 18th hole and had to lay up out of there. But he has put it to 4 feet for a closing par that would give him the round of the tournament and a 8-under 64. He's the story of the day so far, but Tony Finau is making noise as well—and is now tied for the lead after his fourth birdie in four holes, adding one at the par-3 sixth to make it a six-way tie for the lead before the leaders tee off.
2:22 p.m.: Phil adds a second straight birdie with a short make at No. 3. Phil's one back of the lead with that solid start. Phil's playing partner, Matt Kuchar, also birdies the third hole to move to 5-under, two back of the lead.
2:19 p.m.: Tiger's tee shot at the second JUST finds the fairway bunker on the right-hand side. That's a bad break for the 14-time major champion, as he would've been set up perfectly on the right. Ian Poulter also joins him in the bunker.
2:15 p.m.: Tiger's birdie effort at No. 1 slides by to the right. He'll have about 4 feet to clean up for his par. Tiger does so and heads to the par-5 second still one back of the lead.
2:11 p.m.: Tiger finds the green with his approach on No. 1—he'll have about 30 feet or so for an opening birdie. Phil at 2 rolls his eagle bid close to the hole—so he'll have an easy birdie to move to 5-under, putting him two back.
Patrick Cantlay, meanwhile, is making a historic move up this Day 3 leader board. Cantlay just made his EIGHTH birdie of the day to move to one back of the lead. On a day of huge movement, Cantlay's round is insane.
Phil, meanwhile, joins the crowded list of other big movers at 5-under, one back of Cantlay's mark: Hideki Matsuyama, 6-under through his round; Webb Simpson, Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas—who have all made moves to join the group at 5-under.
2:08 p.m.: Tiger Woods rips fairway wood off the tee at No. 1 and finds the short grass as he's off in his first round. Phil made par at the first, and just hit his second at the par-5 second onto the green, so he'll have about 40-45 feet at No. 2 for an eagle.
Tiger and Phil undoubtedly have seen how low some of the players have gone already on Moving Day, so they know the birdies are there for those who can take advantage.
1:58 p.m.: Patrick Cantlay misses the birdie from 10 feet at 16, but stays 7-under on his round—making the biggest move on Moving Day on Saturday at Augusta.
But he's not the only one making serious moves:
Tony Finau birdied his first three holes and is now just one back (-6 overall). Rickie Fowler has made three birdies in a row after an opening bogey at 1 to move to 5-under overall.
Hideki Matsuyama has made four straight birdies and is 6-under on his round—matching Fowler and Cantlay at 5-under overall.
All of this proves there's likely some serious movement upcoming from the leaders here at Augusta National.
1:55 p.m.: Patrick Cantlay cannot be stopped! The 27-year-old is now 7-under (!!) on his round through 15 holes and has a streak of three birdies in a row going. It's a bogey-free, seven-birdie round. We're seeing flawless golf on Day 3 from Cantlay, two back of the current lead!
And Cantlay just hit it to 10 feet at 16. The guy is putting together a special round early on Day 3.
One shot better currently is Tony Finau, who is now 3-under through three holes—and ONE back early on Moving Day. We're seeing some serious movement!
Rickie Fowler is also making a bit of an early move—making up for an opening bogey with birdies at Nos. 2, 3 and 4 to also get to 5-under for the tourney and just two back.
1:42 p.m.: Tony Finau is now two-under through two holes to move within two back of the lead. The long-hitting Utah native has been quiet up till now—but he might be playing himself into the mix early here, as he moves to the short par-4 third.
Phil Mickelson and Matt Kuchar just teed off in their opening round on Day 3. Both these 40+ year olds are now on the course as they start their days off three off the lead. Kuchar found the fairway but it looks like Phil's drive went to the right.
1:27 p.m.: The most impressive start of Day 3 is Patrick Cantlay, and it continues to get more impressive. Cantlay is now 6-under on his round with a birdie at the 14th hole. He's all the way up to 4-under.
A couple early moves up the leaderboard include Charley Hoffman, who is 2-under through his first 4 holes to get to 4-under and three back of the lead. Same as Finau—he starts his round with a birdie at No. 1 to move within three.
And Hideki Matsuyama has made six birdies through 13 holes, along with two bogeys, and Hideki is up to 3-under for the tournament. That's a big move from the Japanese star.
1:21 p.m.: Rory McIlroy just added a necessary birdie at the difficult par-4 10th hole—holing a nine-footer for birdie to get him back to 1-over for the tournament. Rory will need a handful more of those coming in to get within ear shot of the lead.
1:05 p.m.: We're about an hour away from Tiger Woods' 2:05 tee time alongside Ian Poulter, a repeat of a Saturday pairing last year at Augusta National. It's known that Tiger and Poulter didn't get along back in the day. Of course, Poulter once said he could be the best player in the world, a dig at Tiger in his heyday:
“Don’t get me wrong, I really respect every professional golfer but I know I haven’t played to my full potential and when that happens, it will be just me and Tiger.”
Hank Haney's book The Big Miss, Poulter flew back from the U.S. Open at Oakmont in Tiger's private plane back to Jupiter, Fla. And Haney describes how Tiger texted him as he was talking to Poulter ripping on the Englishman. We're 10 years removed from that ... so don't expect there to be too much bad blood there still.
And about 40 minutes from Phil's tee time with Matt Kuchar. If you didn't see Phil's social-media post calling out Kuchar, it's a must-watch before he tees off.
12:57 p.m.: Rory's playing partner, Marc Leishman, hit a sensational shot into the ninth hole, sticking it close for a birdie. That gets back to even-par on the tournament. Rory, however, didn't get as lucky. Actually, quite the opposite.
Rory chopped it out onto the green and two-putted for a bogey, which drops him to two-over on the day, and two-over for the tournament. He's going to need a really, really special inward nine to become a factor on the weekend. Not very probable as he's nine shots back now.
12:47 p.m.: How about this round Patrick Cantlay has going? The 2011 U.S. Amateur champ is 5-under through 11 holes and has the best round going at Augusta National. He's made a huge move—he's now 3-under for the tournament, and just four back of the lead. What a birdie for Cantlay at the 11th hole, where Tiger made the only birdie of the day yesterday. Cantlay's making a HUGE move here.
12:31 p.m.: Yikes. Back-to-back bogeys for McIlroy at the sixth and seventh holes. After that long birdie conversion at the fourth, it looked like Rory might get it rolling, but all he's done is gone backwards. He's now at one over for the week and, barring an epic back nine, likely out of the tournament. At the par-5 eighth, which presents an opportunity to at least get back on track, McIlroy just pulled his drive behind a tree. I don't think he's winning the career Grand Slam this week.
McIlroy's playing partner Marc Leishman isn't doing much better, as he's made two bogeys in his last four holes to drop back to even par. Meanwhile, some serious moves are being made by Patrick Cantlay, Tyrrell Hatton and Hideki Matsuyama. Cantlay carded a four-under 32 on the front nine, and just made par at 10 to continue a bogey-free round. Hatton is four under through 10 as well, while Matsuyama is three under through nine. They are all tied at two under for the tournament along with Keegan Bradley, defending champion Patrick Reed, Webb Simpson and Tommy Fleetwood, who are all off to good starts in their third rounds.
12:15 p.m.: After a really nice up-and-down par save for Rory McIlroy at No. 5, he gives one right back at the sixth to drop to even par. Marc Leishman was able to make pars at both holes to stay at one over for the tournament.
11:49 a.m.: Boom! McIlroy buries one from DEEP at the par-3 fourth, 32 feet to be exact, for birdie to get to one under for the week. That's exactly what he needed to kick start this round. Of course, now he has to avoid dropping that shot at the difficult par-4 fifth. Par there would certainly keep the momentum going.
Leishman had a rough go at the third green, three-putting from long range for a bogey to drop back to one under, tied with McIlroy. Also at one under is amateur Takumi Kanaya, who has by far the low round on the course as he is four under through 10 holes. Patrick Cantlay might match him soon though, as he's three under through seven and one under for the week.
11:42 a.m.: Another close call for Rory McIlroy at No. 3. This time his birdie putt lipped out and he settled for par, yielding an all-time eye roll from the Northern Irishman. Still plenty of golf left, but it can't help the momentum to be stuck at even through three holes after having two good looks at birdie. It also can't help that he had to watch Marc Leishman's putt catch the lip and fall in for his second birdie in a row. Leish is now two under for the week, making him the closest player to the leaders out on the course.
11:34 a.m.: By the way, for those interested, Jeff Knox is indeed playing this morning as a marker at Augusta National. Some reports that circulated on Golf Twitter said he may be passing the torch to someone else, but thankfully those weren't true, and the legendary ANGC member is more than halfway through his round with Eddie Pepperell, who is one over through 13 holes and four over for the week. Here's photographic proof:
11:30 a.m.: It's only been two holes, but it already feels like one of those frustrating rounds for Rory McIlroy on the greens. He's missed two birdie putts by inches. Meanwhile, his playing partner Marc Leishman just had an all-world two-putt from the back right part of the second green to make his birdie and reach one under for the tournament.
11:26 a.m.: While Sunday's forecast still appears to be "ominous," it looks like we are completely in the clear on Saturday:
Let's hope Mother Nature changes her mind and doesn't ruin all the fun tomorrow.
11:12 a.m.: Couple of intriguing moves are already being made on Saturday. Hideki Matsuyama, who began the day eight off the lead, is two under through three holes, one under for the tournament. It's imperative for all these guys in the back of the pack to pick up early birdies at the par-5 second and the short par-4 fourth if they want to make a real move, and Matsuyama has done just that. England's Tyrrell Hatton also made birdies at No.'s 2 and 3, putting him at even par. Patrick Cantlay has made two early birdies as well, though his came at the first and fourth holes, getting him to even par for the tournament.
The low round on the course belongs to amateur Takumi Kanaya, who is three under through eight holes, even par for the week. Back at No. 1, Rory McIlroy and Marc Leishman each began their rounds with pars.