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Brooks Koepka

Masters Report: Brooks Koepka all smiles on history-making day at Augusta

It was more Moody Day than Moving Day as the weather got the better of Augusta again. Things dried out on Sunday, so read about how the Masters become a three-horse race with 18 holes left
 

It’s hard to keep up with all the goings-on at Augusta – so let us keep you up to speed with what you may have missed in our daily Masters Report. And it’s moving day…

Masters Report Day 3

It was an exciting (and very very wet) Saturday at Augusta, but things got much dryer on Sunday. Let’s dive in.

So what happened?

The action got underway at 11.30am local time on Saturday with Brooks Koepka holding a two-shot lead over Jon Rahm on 12-under-par.

Despite completing just a fraction of the penultimate round, Koepka birdied the 2nd hole while Rahm bogeyed 4 and 5.

The four-time major champion doubled his lead to four shots. Unfortunately for outstanding amateur Sam Bennett, he also made two bogeys in this opening stretch to lose ground.

The leaders managed to get six holes into the third round before the hooter sounded due to inclement weather. Play was immediately suspended for the rest of the day.

After Koepka bogeyed the 12th hole when the players came back out on Sunday, the lead was just one shot as Rahm looked to ignite his campaign to win the Green Jacket on Seve Ballesteros’ birthday.

It was a nip-and-tuck morning in Augusta. Pars were the order of the day on the back nine, but Rahm three-putted the 13th to lose some ground.

Kopeka made a small blunder on 17, but after finally carding a 73, the same as Rahm, the American settled for 11-under-par, a two-shot advantage.

Viktor Hovland went on an incredible run late in the third round, making five consecutive birdies from hole 11 to 15 to reach 8-under-par.

A first major title could beckon for the young Norwegian who trails by three, while Patrick Cantlay carded an impressive 68 in tough conditions to reach 6-under-par.

And how are our boys getting on?

Matt Fitzpatrick was loving the test like Cantlay on Saturday, but things changed when he completed his third round on Sunday with two bogeys on the back nine, and a double-bogey on 18.

The US Open champion lost ground and fell to 2-under-par with another 72. Justin Rose is currently one better than his compatriot at a course he enjoys visiting.

Tyrrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood respectively shot 72 and 74 when the third round eventually ended, meaning a first UK winner at the Masters since 2016 is unlikely.

Speaking of the amateurs…

Sam Bennett was the only amateur player to make the cut at the Masters, after his 2022 US Amateur final opponent Ben Carr missed the cut by two shots.

The 23-year-old sadly couldn’t keep up the form of his first 36 holes as he slumped to a 76. Nonetheless, the man from Texas A+M University has been mightily impressive.

You can read about him here.

What was the biggest talking point?

With the rain pouring in Augusta, the only real excitement came in the early parts of the day when Tiger Woods was battling to make the cut and, with it, equal a Masters record.

The five-time Green Jacket winner bogeyed 17 and 18 to sit one outside the number and was forced to wait a few moments to see if Justin Thomas could par the last. He didn’t, Woods was in for the (remainder of the) weekend, and a small slice of history.

Unfortunately, the Masters reported on Sunday afternoon that Woods had withdrawn from the event for the first time in his career.

Woods later tweeted and said he re-aggravated his plantar fasciitis. Will we see Woods play again in 2023, or perhaps at Augusta?

You can read more about it here if you like.

Also, Fred Couples made more history of his own. At the age of 63 years, six months, and five days, the 1992 Masters champion became the oldest player to make the cut at the event.

The record was previously held by two-time Green Jacket holder Bernhard Langer who made the cut in 2020 aged 63 years, two months, and 17 days.

Question of the day

When the tee times for round three were posted, one group, in particular, got us thinking…

What was the best shot of the day?

Cameron Young may be found wanting for another PGA Tour win, but he did his efforts no harm with this superb chip-in on the 1st hole in round three.

Stat of the day

The weather may be disappointing, but the standard of golf from the leader and his pursuer after 36 holes was the best it has ever been at the Masters…

A fond farewell

Larry Mize handed Sandy Lyle his Green Jacket in 1988. Now, 35 years later, and within moments of each other, they bid farewell to the Masters for good.

Thanks for the memories, chaps.

Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spoken to the likes of Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Henrik Stenson, to name just a few.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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