McIlroy: I have nothing to lose – the pressure is on Reed

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Patrick Reed extended his lead at The Masters, but the pressure is all on the American, says Rory McIlroy. Keel Timmins wraps up day 3 from Augusta

What happened on Saturday at Augusta?

As poor weather came in, Augusta National relented as Patrick Reed extended his lead at the top of the leaderboard.

Reed has shown over the last few years that he’s an accomplished PGA Tour and Ryder Cup player, but a major championship title has so far proven elusive. Heading into the final round with a three shot lead, this is uncharted territory for the 27-year-old.

Augusta can do funny things to people, especially on the back-nine, especially on a Sunday afternoon. Just ask Reed’s closest rival Rory McIlroy.

McIlroy, who needed a good round to keep his chances of the career grand slam alive this week, shot a magnificent 65 to pile pressure on the front-runner.

But Reed was equally as good as he eagled both 13 and 15 on his way to a round of 67. The result? A mouth-watering Reed-McIlroy final pairing – we’re in for a thrilling finish if it’s anything like their Ryder Cup match in 2016.

Rickie Fowler and Jon Rahm both signed for rounds of 65 and will be ready to pounce if the front two falter tomorrow and go into the final day at -9 and -8 respectively.

GB&I watch

McIlroy continues to lead the British and Irish charge, but Tommy Fleetwood made a significant move on Saturday afternoon to break into contention. A three-putt bogey at the last wouldn’t take the gloss off a superb 66, which included five birdies in a row from 12-16.

Justin Rose is just outside the top-10, while Matthew Fitzpatrick shot a 67 to get to level-par for the tournament. Paul Casey, Tyrrell Hatton and Ian Poulter are all outside of the top-30.

Click here for the full leaderboard

The talking points

It’s fair to say Patrick Reed is a controversial character – would he be a popular winner of the Green Jacket? The Masters Fourball discuss this and plenty of other stuff.

Every Masters weekend for anyone in the UK presents the same problem: to watch the BBC or Sky Sports? Mark Townsend and Dan Murphy have differing views.

Best stats

Quotes of the day

It’s massive [to get into final pairing]. This is my first final group here since 2011 and I feel like I learned an awful lot from that day. I’m really excited to show Patrick Reed what I’ve got tomorrow. All the pressure’s on him tomorrow.

I know what it’s like to be in that [Reed’s] position. It isn’t easy, especially if it’s your first time. I’m going to free wheel it and play like I have nothing to lose, everything to gain.

– Rory McIlroy

I knew some guys were going to shoot some low scores. I just had to stay patient. To play with a guy like Rory [in the final round], it’s going to be a blast.

– Patrick Reed

Betting update

There will be plenty of you out there who will look at Patrick Reed’s three shot lead and be a bit surprised he’s still odds against with many of the bookmakers.

You can get 7/5 on the American and, given what we’ve seen over the first three days at Augusta, that will certainly appeal to the short-priced merchants among you.

Rory McIlroy’s 7/2 finds more favour with me. This isn’t the Ryder Cup and you’d like to think he could bring his experience of having won four majors to bear against Reed if he senses weakness.

Most firms are still offering three places and, while you can’t get 50/1 on Jon Rahm anymore, I like the idea of backing him again each-way at 12s at 1/5 of the odds.

The Spaniard has got better and better and his Saturday 65 tied McIlroy and Fowler for the low round of the day.

Tee times

Click here for the final-day tee times.

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