Cameron Smith has best round of day, roars back into Masters contention


Scottie Scheffler used all working day fending off the chilly wind at the Masters, slipping on a vest over his levels of clothes right after every single shot on each and every hole. 1 extra round and his next wardrobe improve may well be a eco-friendly jacket.

Scheffler seemed oblivious to the harsh disorders Saturday, at one particular stage stretching his guide to six pictures. He held on through a wild and windy trip together the again 9 at Augusta National, escaping with bogey from the trees on the 18th for a 1-under 71 and a a few-shot lead around Cameron Smith.

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Smith experienced the low round at 68, the only player to crack 70, and gave himself yet another shot at profitable the Masters in his to start with start off considering that his victory in The Players Championship. He was a runner-up to Dustin Johnson two decades back.

Sungjae Im (71), also a runner-up in 2020, was the only other player inside 5 pictures.

Tiger Woods required to uncover a way to get into purple quantities and wound up with his worst rating at any time at the Masters, a 78 that will be remembered for his 1st four-putt at Augusta Countrywide. He also experienced four three-putts and was 16 shots driving.

“You’d think I would have figured it out someplace alongside the line, but it just did not happen,” he mentioned.

On these kinds of a cold working day — the wind chill was in the upper 40s most of the day — possibly this was a warmup for what Scheffler can assume on Sunday at Augusta Countrywide, ordinarily the best theater of the majors, in particular for these trying to get their 1st important.

The last participant who failed to maintain a direct of a few shots or far more heading into the final spherical was 21-12 months-old Rory McIlroy in 2011.

Scheffler appeared as considered he might switch this into a runaway when he designed his fourth birdie of the round on the par-5 eighth and expanded his direct to 6 photographs.

But then a shot from the front bunker on the par-3 12th went around the environmentally friendly. He bounced back again with a birdie only to arrive up effectively small of the monstrous mound guarding the back again right pin on the 14th for bogey, and a few-putting the par-5 15th for yet another bogey.

Even soon after his very best shot of the round, an tactic to 4 toes for birdie on the 17th, he ran into large challenges on the 18th. He yanked his tee shot into a canopy of trees and twisted branches, leaving him no selection but to get a penalty drop on the pine straw.

Daring as ever, he smashed his method from 240 yards onto the environmentally friendly and just above the back again, leaving him two putts to keep his distance.

Scheffler was at 9-less than 207.

Sunday will be the first time since a final pairing at a key featured players from the leading 10 in the entire world due to the fact the 2015 PGA Championship with Jason Working day and Jordan Spieth.

Scheffler and Smith might be the two most popular gamers in golfing, also.

Scheffler has received 3 of his last 5 tournaments, all versus some of the strongest fields of the 12 months, a operate that has elevated the 25-yr-previous from Dallas to No. 1 in the entire world.

Smith began the calendar year by using down the previous No. 1 player, Jon Rahm, with a history rating to par at Kapalua. His newest feat was to get the subsequent most effective matter to a big, The Gamers Championship, very last month.

“It just usually means I can get it carried out, I guess, when I’m up in opposition to the best fellas in the planet. It can be a great emotion to have. It truly is attained. It is not provided to you,” Smith said. “So I am going to have to go out there tomorrow and perform actually excellent golfing again, most likely equivalent to now. With any luck ,, anything just falls into position.”

Woods completed as Scheffler was nonetheless easily in advance, and the 5-time Masters winner feels as even though he has seen this just before. Players strike peak kind all the time, and it really is primarily sweet when that run is in the spring with the Masters on the calendar.

Woods gained back again-to-back ahead of his Masters victory in 2001. Jordan Spieth received and experienced a pair of runner-up finishes when he won his inexperienced jacket in 2015. Fred Couples won twice and was runner-up two times in advance of his 1992 victory at Augusta.

“We all desire we had that two, 3-thirty day period window when we get sizzling, and ideally majors slide someplace along in that window. We acquire treatment of it in individuals windows,” Woods stated. “Scottie looks to be in that window ideal now.”

Charl Schwartzel, who won the Masters in 2011, was attempting to keep stride with Smith right up until he 3-putted from about 8 toes for bogey on the 16th and dropped yet another shot on the 17th, slipping to a 73. He was at 2-below 214 together
with Shane Lowry (73).

Justin Thomas (72) and Corey Conners (73) ended up the only other gamers below par.

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