The Masters shouldn’t be portrayed as just Spieth v McIlroy. Others are still well in with a shout.

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 14.47.27 by LIAM RICHNER

Halfway through this year’s Masters and we have already had plenty of shock exits, a final farewell, and tough conditions to sink our teeth into. 

Following Tom Watson’s final round around Augusta, and Phil Mickelson’s departure, we head into the business end of the tournament. Jordan Spieth leads the way on four under par, but Rory McIlroy is just one shot behind the current Masters champion.

It sets the Saturday session up nicely, with the world number two and world number three the final pairing, teeing off at 19:50 BST.

What the two phenomenons of the game need to do is forget their rivalry, and focus primarily on their individual rounds.

Trying to outplay each other will cause more mistakes than spectacular shots, forcing a way open for golfers lower down the ladder with the chance to climb to the top and cause a potential upset.

One of those is current world number one Jason Day, who is tied 15th on one over par. A good start from him would propel him back up towards the frontrunners.

The same could be said for anyone at least two over par, due to the tricky conditions that Augusta provides. The greens throughout the day dry out and become crusty, making the surface very fast.

What this does is make putting later in the day trickier than early afternoon. We saw this yesterday, as leader Spieth and his partners Paul Casey and Bryson Dechambeau all dropped shots between them through holes 16,17 and 18.

rory-mcilroy-334
Rory McIlroy is one shot off the lead going into Day 3. (Image Credit: http://www.independent.co.uk)

McIlroy’s early round of one under made a very good score with not many players scoring under par throughout the day.

It puts the Northern Irishman in a good position to complete a career Grand Slam at just 26 years of age.

His decision to miss the Par-3 contest last Wednesday has proved to be a good decision thus far, but we can’t forget McIlroys meltdown of 2011.

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Jordan Spieth is looking for back-to-back Masters wins. (Image Credit: http://www.standard.co.uk)

Spieth is looking to be just the fourth person to retain the green jacket win a second consecutive victory at the Masters.

He started very strongly and at one point was four shots clear of second, but the mini collapse of yesterday would have woken him up, and reminded him that he needs to perform at 100% through all four rounds to win.

Players to watch out for over the next two days include Hideki Matsuyama, who is slowly crawling up the leaderboard. Dustin Johnson, who finished very strongly yesterday. And finally Jamie Donaldson, who as I write this is one under today through four and one over for the tournament. The Welshman was very consistent yesterday, making many pars to stay in the race.

 

 

 

 

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