The narrative heading into Saturday was the duo of Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy, who were one and two on the leaderboard.
The former continues to hold the top spot heading into the final day of the Masters while the latter slipped out of the top tier. Spieth in fact broke Arnold Palmer’s record for most consecutive rounds at No. 1 with seven but it didn’t come easily.
Spieth would double-bogey twice on the day, one of those on the 18th hole.
“It wasn’t ideal,” Spieth told CBS after a bogey, double-bogey finish. “Climb back nicely to get to -2 on the day, even par, I thought was a fantastic score. Two-under with three holes to go, I figure par-par-par and I got really wayward from there.”
Trailing Spieth by one shot is more of the unsung hero-type in Smylie Kaufman. He shot a 69 on Saturday, the first sub-70 of anyone in the tournament since Thursday.
Bernhard Langer used four par-five birdies to crawl into the No. 3 spot and for the 58-year old two-time champ, he’s just two shots behind Spieth.
Hideki Matsuyama (-1) is still very well in contention as well though he’d like to have back the last few holes, bogeying on 16 and 17. Matsuyama was in a similar situation last year as he finished fifth.
Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Danny Willett round out the top seven, all at even, and the pairing of Johnson and Day will need to shoot extremely well on Sunday to put the tension on the leader in Spieth. If not, it’ll be back-to-back green jackets for the 22-year old.