Masters 2016: Defending champion Jordan Spieth still in pole position to retain crown
Jordan Spieth is edging closer to claiming his second successive Masters title despite a mixed third round at Augusta.
The 22-year-old Texan carded a one-over-par round of 73 to maintain his one shot leading heading into the final day.
Despite bogeys on the 7th and 17th and double bogeys on the 11th and 18th, the World No 2 showed good composure and focus, as well as some solid putting, to put himself in prime position to become a back-to-back champion.
The clinical putting of Spieth often came to his rescue after some wayward tee shots and he claimed five birdies in what were tricky conditions on the third day of action, with a strong breeze and fast greens causing issues for several players.
Spieth ended his round on a bit of a poor note after a terrible tee shot on the 18th put him amongst the trees.
The defending champion was three shots ahead of the pack heading to the 18th tee but a double bogey meant his lead slipped to just one shot.
He will now play alongside fellow American Smylie Kaufman for the final round after he moved from one-over-par to two-under.
Four birdies and a round of 69 has put 24-year-old Kaufman in serious contention for a Major crown for the first time in his career.
It was a day to forget for World No 3 Rory Mcllory as he slipped from one shot behind the leader going into the third round to five shots off the pace by the end of the day after a sloppy round of 77.
The Northern Irishman’s hopes of securing a Grand Slam of Major titles now look slim as his misreading of the greens was in stark contrast with the cool precision of his playing partner Spieth.
Former World No 1 and two-time Masters champion Bernhard Langer rolled back the years with a superb round of 70.
The German was a single shot off Spieth at one stage after the youngster double bogeyed the 11th to go three-under, but the American came storming back on the 12th with a birdie to move back to four-under-par.
Langer finished on one-under-par alongside Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama as the pair put themselves in contention for the crown going into the final round.
World No 1 Jason Day is just three shots back from Spieth on level par after a steady round of 71.