Day Three at the Masters: Rory McIlroy Falters Early, but Charges to a Commanding Lead on the Back

The charge from Tiger Woods never materialized on Saturday, as he spent one hole under par today after a birdie at the third hole, before immediately dropping back. He finished with a 73. Aussie Jason Day was a revelation earlier in the day, following his blistering 64 from Friday with 3 birdies in the first five holes, including an incredible putt on the fifth. That putt, combined with a bogie by McIlroy on the same hole, actually put Day in the lead temporarily and knocked Rory out of at least a tie for the leading spot for the first time since day one.

Day spent the rest of the day giving strokes back, bogeying four holes, while McIlroy steadied his game with birdies on 13 and 15, and a long putt for birdie on 17 to take a commanding 4 stroke lead. The charges of the day among contenders came from Angel Cabrera (67), Charl Schwartzel (68) and Adam Scott (67), who find themselves in the group directly chasing down McIlroy as we head to Sunday; Cabrera and Schwartzel are at -8 while Scott is at -7 entering the final round.

It’s all there in front of the 21-year old McIlroy now. A solid if unspectacular round that breaks par will be tough to catch. Day, Schwartzel, Cabrera, K.J. Choi, Luke Donald, and Adam Scott will have to post a great round going against the Sunday pin placements to have a chance, unless McIlroy pulls a Greg Norman at Augusta. And with so many quality players ahead of him, Woods is going to have to produce the best round of his Masters career to win his fourth.

Your last four groups tomorrow:

Luke Donald (-7), Bo Van Pelt (-6)

Jason Day (-8), Adam Scott (-7)

Charl Schwartzel (-8), K.J. Choi (-8)

Rory McIlroy (-12), Angel Cabrera (-8)

[photo via Getty]

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