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Shane Lowry 11 shots off the pace after shooting an even round 72 at Augusta

Lowry was tied for 20th behind clubhouse leader after three rounds.

Image: Charlie Riedel

Updated Apr 10th 2021, 10:29 PM

SHANE LOWRY HAD an up and down round on day three of the Masters, shooting an even par 72.

Lowry is currently 11 shots behind Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, the clubhouse leader. Justin Rose has played 14 holes, birdying the opening two before he picked up bogeys on four and six to return to his overnight score of seven under. A birdie on 12 put him one shot behind Matsuyama before the Japanese player extended that lead to two shots with a birdie at the 16th, then three with another birdie on 17.

Lowry had a mixed round. He opened with a par, then got a birdie on the par 5 second before that gain was cancelled out at the third, when he had a bogey on the par 4.

Pars on four and five followed and then the Offaly man recorded a superb birdie at the par 3, sixth. Suddenly we hoped for a charge but it wasn’t to come. Lowry made the turn in one under for the day, one under for the tournament.

A bogey on 11 was a disappointment, a birdie on 13 most certainly was not. He was through 14 when play was suspended, Rose through six.

After a break of just over an hour, play resumed, Lowry getting a par on the 15th; Rose a par on the seventh. Lowry then bogeyed the 16th and finished with pars on 17 and 18, missing a birdie chance by an inch or so on 18.

Japan’s Matsuyama moved into a tie for the lead when he went three under for the day through 12. He then took the lead when he eagled 15 and extended that lead to two shots with a birdie at 16 and another at 17.

Matsuyama, trying to become the first Japanese man to win a major golf title, birdied the par-4 11th and par-3 12th holes after a 78-minute storm delay to stand on 7-under par.

After sinking a four-foot birdie putt at the par-4 seventh, Matsuyama nearly completed a perfect run through “Amen Corner” — Augusta’s formidable three-hole stretch on the back nine — but was just left of the cup on a six-foot birdie putt at the par-5 13th that would have given him the outright lead.

Rose, the 2013 US Open champion who began the day with a one-stroke lead, opened with back-to-back birdies but bogeys on the par-3 fourth and par-4 fifth followed by four pars left the 40-year-old Englishman on 7-under at the turn.

Zalatoris, Rose’s last-duo playing partner, began the back nine with a birdie to join the leaders on 7-under in his bid to become the first player to win his Masters debut since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979.

The 24-year-old American birdied the third but followed with a bogey at four, then went bogey-birdie at seven and eight.

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World number 25 Matsuyama, who hasn’t won since the 2017 Akron WGC event, has seven top-10 finishes in majors, including a 2017 US Open runner-up effort. His best Masters showing was fifth in 2015.

After the storm delay, swirling winds vanished and wet Augusta National was more receptive, slowing greens that had been lightning-fast but making them far trickier to read.

Reigning Olympic champion Rose began Saturday with 12-foot birdie putt at the first and a 10-footer at the par-5 second to lead by three before falling back.

Australian Marc Leishman, Canada’s Corey Conners and Americans Xander Schauffele and Jordan Spieth shared fourth on 5-under.

Rose, twice a Masters runner-up, won his only major title at the 2013 US Open. The world number 41 has led or shared the Masters lead after seven career rounds, the most of any player never to win a green jacket.

He is trying to become the sixth wire-to-wire Masters champion after Americans Craig Wood (1941), Arnold Palmer (1960), Jack Nicklaus (1972), Ray Floyd (1976) and Jordan Spieth (2015).

About the author:

Garry Doyle

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