Masters day 3: Aussies slip, Molinari in charge

Posted by on April 14, 2019  /   Posted in golf news

Heading to a 66 greeting leader Francesco Molinari today fans at Augusta. Image: Getty

The Australian challenge faltered today at Augusta National and the reigning Open champion of Italy, Francesco Molinari, emerged as the man to beat in the Masters.

Both Adam Scott and Jason Day had rough days after they started part of the lead.

On what turned out to be the lowest scoring round in Masters history with three players shooting 64-fold, they couldn't afford it.

Scott (72) had a terrible day at the putter, losing opportunity after chance and eventually bogey with a three-putt to leave himself behind seven-under-par, six shots from the line and needed a miracle tomorrow .

Day (73) also bogeyed the latter after a bad approach, but his big mistake was at the par-five 15th, where he turned his wedge shot into the water in front of the green and took double bogey seven. He is six-under-par, seven shots back.

The field shot 80-under par on the third day, a record, including three players out of 64, putting the performance of Day and Scott in context. Five players started with part of the lead and four others – Tiger Woods, Xander Schaffele, Tony Finau and Webb Simpson – took the lead during the day.

The final round was put forward by Augusta National to a two-start start at 7.30 AM due to impending weather conditions, meaning the leaders will leave at 9.20 AM (11.20 AM EST). Woods, who is part of the last group, said he would have to get up around 4 in the morning to prepare. Dozens of Masters club breakfasts around Australia have been affected by the change.

Molinari shot an almost flawless 66 and took a two-shot lead to the final round of tomorrow in 13-substandard. He plays with Woods, who shot 67 today, and Tony Finau, who jumped out of the pack with 64. Both are two shots back but there are others in the peloton with a chance, led by triple great champion Brooks Koepka at 10-under, only three back from Molinari.

The 36-year-old Italian, ranked seventh in the world, is relentless with his ball attack and managing his golf ball and has never made a bogey all day. In fact, he has only made one all week – in the par-four 11th hole on Thursday – to show how consistent he has been. He shot 70, 67, 66, gets better every day and lowers his best in Augusta.

His appearance at the top of the leaderboard is no surprise, although in reality he has not played well at Augusta National in the past (best finish in row 19th). The legendary course is generally suitable for larger hitters, but Molinari is tough and has mastered his game over the last two years by winning the Open Championship in Carnoustie in July – his first big triumph – and then five out of five collect possible points in Europe & # 39; s remarkable Ryder Cup victory over the United States.

Ironically, Molinari & # 39; s first appearance in Augusta in 2006 was a caddy for his brother Edoardo, who made the field as the American Amateur champion. The photos & # 39; s of him in the white jumpsuit with Tiger Woods have already become viral this week, as he might wear the green jacket tomorrow.

You can almost guarantee that he will not be intimidated, not even with Woods in his group (the club chooses to play the final round in three). Molinari had Woods as a playing partner at Carnoustie less than a year ago, and it didn't bother him then. "I wish I just had to worry about him, but there are a few that I think will come out tomorrow and try to shoot a low," he said.

Woods, the four-time Masters champion, kept the dream alive with his bold 67 today, grabbed part of the lead and sent a roar over the Georgia runway as he rolled himself into a birdie-putt up close on the 16th to get a to participate in the 11-sub-standard pipeline. That was before Molinari made his back-nine charge, making four consecutive birdies from the 12th.

Woods, the former world number 1, has been fantastic all week; today he did not miss a putt within 10 feet all day. He has not won a major since the US Open in 2008 and we all know the story of what has happened to him since. If he makes a point tomorrow, Augusta will rock.

Of the Australians, Scott was the one who had the best chance to hit the first blow immediately and make a birdie. But the odds begged, from the downhiller on the second, to the three putts from the front pony on the short par-four third, to the miss from within two meters on the fourth … it just kept happening. When he finally made a well of substance, a 12-meter right-to-left curler for birdie on the 12th, he fist-pumped like to say: & # 39; Finally & # 39 ;.

But on March 15 he missed another chance and it just wasn't his day. Unfortunately, the problems with the putter are all too familiar. Bogeys on the 16th from the right fall and from the front of the green on the 18th almost left him too far back to win.

Cameron Smith (69 today) made his way through the field today. "It has been one of those frustrating weeks, I think, that I could not tie myself to shots that I can normally play," he said.

Marc Leishman (70 today) made a great eagle on the 15th and played very well without ever threatening.

LEADERBOARD

-13 Molinari

-11 Woods, Finau

-10 Koepka

-9 Simpson, Poulter

The Australians

-7 Scott

6-day

-3 Smith

-2 Leishman

Complete rankings

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