Ian Poulter and Miguel Angel Jimenez were among several European Tour members to make steady progress up the Masters Tournament leaderboard following encouraging starts to their third rounds at Augusta National.
Poulter picked up birdies at the par three fourth and par five eighth to move to two under before giving one shot back on the ninth, while Jimenez also picked up two early birdies before dropping back to one under with a bogey at the seventh.
Justin Rose made a solid start to his third round, moving to one under with ten pars and one birdie in his opening 11 holes, and fellow Englishman Lee Westwood made birdies at two and four, either side of a bogey at three, to move to three under for the tournament.
Graeme McDowell was another European to fare well early on, a birdie at the fourth taking him to three under.
However, Padraig Harrington’s bid for a third successive major suffered a major blow as he quadruple bogeyed the second hole to slip to four over for the tournament.
The Irishman responded with a birdie at the fifth, but he remained ten shots behind overnight leaders Chad Campbell and Kenny Perry, who had yet to resume on Saturday afternoon.
World Number One Tiger Woods also slipped down the field after double bogeying the opening hole, but he went on to birdie the third to get back to one under par.
There was better news for Camilo Villegas, who birdied two of his opening three holes to reach four under, while Phil Mickelson and current Race to Dubai leader Geoff Ogilvy also picked up early shots to move to the same score.
Further down the field, Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy also got off to a good start, moving to an even par aggregate after two birdies and one bogey in his outward nine.
Sandy Lyle, the 51-year-old who had five successive birdies late in his second round 70, bogeyed the third and fifth to drop back to level par.
England’s Luke Donald and Paul Casey both carded double bogeys inside their opening six holes. Donald was one over for the tournament after 12 holes while Casey was two over after ten.