Fri, 07 May 2021

Justin Rose clung to a one-stroke lead over playing partner Will Zalatoris when dangerous weather halted Saturday's third round of the 85th Masters.

The 40-year-old Englishman opened with back-to-back birdies but made bogeys at the par-3 fourth and par-4 fifth holes to stand on 7-under par through six holes at Augusta National.

Players were taken off the course due to lightning as thunderstorms approached the famed course.

Rose, twice a Masters runner-up, won his only major title at the 2013 US Open. The world number 41 has led or shared the Masters lead after seven career rounds, the most of any player never to win a green jacket.

Rose is trying to become the sixth wire-to-wire Masters champion after Americans Craig Wood (1941), Arnold Palmer (1960), Jack Nicklaus (1972), Ray Floyd (1976) and Jordan Spieth (2015).

Zalatoris, a 24-year-old American, is trying to become the first player to win his Masters debut since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979. He birdied the third but followed with a bogey at four to stand on 6-under at the stoppage.

Canadian Corey Conners, who had electrified the crowd earlier with a hole-in-one at the par-3 sixth, was in a pack on 5-under.

Japan's Hideki Matsuyama, Australian Marc Leishman and second-ranked Justin Thomas of the United States were also in the third-place group when play was halted.

Three South Africans made the weekend cut, with Charl Schwartzel currently tied for 30th after carding a even-par 72 to sit on 1-over par ahead of Sunday's final round.

Reigning Olympic champion Rose, who started the weekend with a one-stroke lead on seven-under 137, began on Saturday with 12-foot birdie putt at the first and a 10-footer at the par-5 second to lead by three before falling back.

Thomas, the 2017 PGA Championship winner, will overtake Dustin Johnson to become world number one if he wins the green jacket after 2020 Masters champion Johnson missed the cut.

Thomas followed birdies at the second and third with a bogey at the fifth to fall two back.

Conners aced the 180-yard par-3 sixth. He watched the shot bounce twice and roll into the cup.

Conners had started his charge with birdies at the par-5 second and par-4 third and answered a bogey at the par-4 fifth with the ace. the 33rd in Masters history and just the sixth at the sixth hole.

The world number 43 followed with a birdie at the seventh but began the back nine with a bogey.

It was the second ace of this year's Masters. England's Tommy Fleetwood aced the par-3 16th on Thursday for the first.

Three-time major winner Jordan Spieth, who snapped a four-year win drought last week in San Antonio, took a double bogey at the seventh but birdied the par-5 eighth just before the horn to halt play to stand on 4-under.

Only twice since 1960 has a player won the Masters the week after a PGA Tour victory - US left-hander Phil Mickelson in 2006 after a triumph in Atlanta and Scotland's Sandy Lyle, who won at Greensboro the week before taking the 1988 Masters.

Augusta National announced prize money figures Saturday with the same totals as the past two years, the winner taking home $2.07 million from a total purse of $11.5 million.

Source: News24

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