Sunday, 14 April 2019
Francesco Molinari   (Getty Images)
Francesco Molinari (Getty Images)

Moving Day at the Masters Tournament never disappoints and Saturday truly lived up to its billing at Augusta National Golf Club.

Here are some of the things you may not have seen on day three of the season's first Major Championship.

Set your alarm clocks

For the first time in Masters history, the players will go off two tees in the final round with storms expected to sweep into Georgia in the afternoon.

The first threeballs will go off the first and tenth tees at 7.30am, with Francesco Molinari, Tony Finau and Tiger Woods being the last group teeing off from the first at 9.20am.

“The safety of everyone on our grounds is paramount,” said Fred Ridley, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament. “We also believe the earlier start will give us the best opportunity to complete the Masters on Sunday. This decision should benefit everyone - the players, our patrons and our fans watching around the world.”

Kanaya flirts with history

There have been four amateurs make the cut this year at Augusta but before Saturday, none of them had yet broken 70. Enter Takumi Kanaya. The Japanese Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship winner opened 73-74 but made five birdies and a bogey on the front nine to turn in 32. When he put his tee shot to 12 feet on the 12th to go five under for the day, hopes were raised he could equal or even beat Ken Venturi's low amateur round of 66 from 1956. He would bogey the next and par his way home for an impressive 68 and he has now set his sights on entering the history books by a different route - winning the Silver Cup.

"It's definitely one of the highest honours an amateur could get here at Augusta," he said. "There's many, many more amateurs here that have turned up Major Champions on the Tour. So, yeah, definitely that's my goal."

64s are like buses

Between 1934 and 2018 there were just just two rounds of 64 shot on day three of the Masters - on Saturday we had three.

Former Silver Cup winner Patrick Cantlay got the ball rolling as he made eight birdies and no bogeys to move to six under as the leading contenders were just starting their rounds.

Next up was Webb Simpson, who was level par for his round after six holes but made four birdies in a row from the seventh and added an eagle on the 13th before birdieing the next. When he failed to pick up a shot on the par five 15th, it looked like his shot at a course record equalling 63 had gone, but he made a gain on the last before parring his way home and coming up one shy.

Finau started the day six shots off the lead but made four birdies and an eagle to tie the record for the lowest front nine in Masters history. He birdied the 13th and 15th to get to eight under on the day but could not pick up a further shot and will head into Sunday just two off the lead.

Francesco Molinari is very good

When the Italian bogeyed the 11th on day one to drop to level par, there was no telling how much better his week was going to get. Fast forward 43 holes and 13 birdies and Molinari has yet to drop another shot. That is the longest bogey free run at Augusta National for 25 years and matches Brooks Koepka's run from last season's US PGA Championship. A blemish free Sunday and the Open Champion may well be wearing a Green Jacket.

Even trees love Tiger

When you have 14 Major Championships and come up in every discussion over who is the greatest player of all time, it's safe to say your success is down to more than luck - but we all need a bit of good fortune sometimes. Tiger Woods had just made a hat-trick of birdies to surge up the leaderboard when he sent his tee shot a long way right at the ninth. He was lucky to find a position and make par and he repeated the trick on the 11th after going even further right off the tee. He went left off the 13th tee but hit a tree and once again fell into a nice position, allowing him to actually make a birdie on the par five. Shall we just get the measuring tape and chalk out now?

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1WOODS, TigerUSA18-13
T2JOHNSON, DustinUSA18-12
T2KOEPKA, BrooksUSA18-12
T5DAY, JasonAUS18-11

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