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2014 Masters, Day 3: Moving Day

2014 Masters, Day 3: Moving Day

2014 Masters, Day 3: Moving Day

The kid vs. the unconventional

Saturday on the PGA Tour is considered moving day, when players no longer need to worry about making the cut and can refocus their strategy for more aggressive play to move up the leaderboard. The 20-year-old rookie Jordan Spieth took advantage of his youthful power and Texas cool. While the leader coming into the day, and past Masters’ champ, Bubba Watson, played his usual swing-free style to end Day 3 dead even with his fellow American.  

For those in the lead, good play has put them atop the field through two days, but it’s often difficult to maintain that level of play, particularly under the pressure of a Major, and even more so when that Major is the Masters. 

Saturday at the Masters was indeed moving day. Let’s take a look at as some key players heading into Sunday’s final round.

The Leaders

Spieth and Watson each may have very different mindsets going into Sunday based on their Saturday play for the 2014 Masters. Spieth appeared calm, cool and collected as he posted a 2-under 70.

Spieth has posted sub-par rounds each day of the tournament, and has played with the savvy of an experienced veteran. If Spieth continues that level of play, he just might find himself slipping on the green jacket Sunday afternoon. Should this occur, he’d be the youngest player to ever do so.

2014 Masters

Jordan Spieth played beyond his 20 years Saturday to tie for the lead heading into Sunday at the 2014 Masters.

Watson dazzled the Augusta crowds on Thursday and Friday with rounds of 69 and 68. His third round started rocky, with a bogey on the first. But Watson came firing back and eagled the par-5 2nd hole. But the magic of the first two rounds would not remain, as Watson bogeyed three of the next five holes.

All said, the lefty posted a 2-over 74. Still, in his post-round press conference, Bubba seemed confident in his game. He’ll look to regain the momentum at the 2014 Masters from the first two rounds for his second Masters’ title.

2014 Masters

Bubba Watson calls out ”fore” as he walks down the 18th fairway Saturday.

The Big Gainers

Miguel Angel Jimenez, who turned 50 in January and is affectionately called “The Mechanic” on tour for his workman-like approach to the game and his bizarre pre-round warm-up routine, fired a scorching 66 at Saturday’s 2014 Masters. The Spaniard knocked down seven birdies against just one bogey.

His approach to Saturday at Augusta was steady, aggressive, and consistently solid. His 66 ties a record for the lowest round by a player over 50 in the history of the Masters tournament, and positions him just two shots out of the lead.

2014 Masters

Miguel Angel Jimenez does one of his signature stretches while firing a 66 Saturday to be two off the lead at age 50.

Unflappably solid would be a good way to describe Rickey Fowler’s round on Saturday as the young Fowler, who may be more famous for his flair for fashion than his golf game, carded a 5-under 67 to move up 21 spots on the leaderboard and now is sitting two shots behind the leaders, along with Jeminez. 

The two will be paired together on Sunday, and will be a fun twosome to watch. Both players are charismatic, but the similarities might stop there. The Odd Couple will look feed off of each other’s Saturday momentum to get into a position on the back nine on Sunday.

Matt Kuchar also made a significant move on the day, posting a 68 after bogeying 18 to take away some of his momentum going into Sunday. Still, a 4-under performance has him well positioned going into Sunday, which might just be a position that will favor Kuchar. In his previous two 2014 PGA tournaments, Kuchar held the 54-hole lead, only to be caught from behind in defeat. Kuchar can now play the aggressor on Sunday, chasing the leaders and putting pressure on them throughout the day.

And heading into Sunday, aggressive play may be just what is needed as defensive players played themselves out of the 2014 Masters. So far.

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