Scottie Scheffler leads as Tiger Woods puts in worst round at Augusta National

Masters 2024 third round rankings

-7 Scheffler (USA); -6 Morikawa (USA); -5 Homa (USA); -4 Aberg (Swe); -3 DeChambeau (USA); -2 Hojgaard (Den), Schauffele (US), Davis (Aus);

Selected others: -1 Fleetwood (English); +1 Fitzpatrick (English); +3 McIlroy (NI), Zalatoris (US), Hatton (Eng), Willett (Eng); +5 Rahm (spa); +6 Mickelson (USA); +11 Forests (US)

American world number one Scottie Scheffler held onto the lead in the Masters on an eventful third day, with Tiger Woods posting his worst score at a major.

Scheffler, the hot favorite at Augusta since Woods in his 2000s pomp, shot a one-under 71 to go seven under and one ahead of Collin Morikawa.

Morikawa carded a 69 for six under, with Max Homa (73) next at five under.

Bryson DeChambeau, who held the joint lead overnight, hit a 75 and is three under, while Woods is 11 over after an 82.

DeChambeau – a home hope like Scheffler, Morikawa and Homa – reignited his bid by birdieing from the 18th fairway on what had been a chastening day at Augusta National.

The 30-year-old climbed back to fifth on the leaderboard, one shot behind Swedish debutant Ludvig Aberg, who carded 70 after two bogeys in the last four holes.

Aberg, 24, turned professional only 10 months ago and, like his European Ryder Cup teammate Nicolai Hojgaard, is aiming to become the first man to win the Masters on his debut in a major.

Denmark’s Hojgaard briefly led on Saturday but saw his card destroyed by five consecutive bogeys in the back half, ending with a 74 that left him two under.

England’s Tommy Fleetwood, at one under on a 72, leads what has so far been a somewhat disappointing challenge for home golfers.

How a dramatic back nine unfolded

The magical moment produced by DeChambeau, who starred in the final pairing alongside fellow night leader Homa, was the final twist on a slow day in Augusta.

As the leads approached their turn, for a long time there was little sign of the drama that would unfold.

While DeChambeau made an early bogey, Scheffler moved right into the lead ahead of Homa after escaping early foul punishment.

Birdieing the first was the perfect start for the 2022 champion and he added another birdie with a monster putt on the third.

At that point it looked like Scheffler, who won two of his three previous tournaments, would leave the field.

However, more mistakes – a double bogey on 10 after missing a two-foot putt, followed by a bogey on 11 – were a curveball that allowed his playing partner Hojgaard to take over at the top.

Hojgaard had never played in a major, let alone led one, until three consecutive birdies around the turn completely changed the picture.

But it turned out to be a short lead. While Hojgaard hesitated, Scheffler rallied with an eagle on 13 and another birdie on 15.

A bogey on 17 put Scheffler wide of Morikawa, before a birdie on the last restored the 27-year-old’s lead as he ultimately continued his majestic form.

Morikawa, the 2021 Open champion, had gotten off to a fast start with three birdies on the first three holes and finished with 10 straight pars as chaos unfolded around him.

The US Ryder Cup teammates will take part in the final pairing on Sunday, which tees off at 7:35pm BST.

‘Rusty’ Woods drops down in the rankings

Tiger Woods chews his lip on day three of the MastersTiger Woods chews his lip on day three of the Masters

Tiger Woods has only scored 80 or more three times at a major (Getty Images)

After crossing the finish line for the 24th consecutive year, Woods was one at the halfway mark and, as we have seen so often over the years, spoke optimistically about his chances on the weekend.

The five-time Masters champion, aiming to equal Jack Nicklaus’ long-standing record of wins, said after the second round that he was “right there.”

However, that turned out to be too optimistic when he dropped down the rankings.

The 48-year-old American struggled to find fairways – hitting just five of 14 – and that led to his scoring 80 or more at a major for only the third time.

Consecutive double bogeys at seven and eight did the most damage, with Woods adding another six bogeys in the back half.

Woods had barely played while competing at the Masters as he continues to recover from injuries sustained in a car accident in February 2021.

The 15-time major champion has limited his schedule after the life-threatening crash that led to a number of operations, including on his legs and ankle.

Considering his lack of competitive action, even making it to the weekend on one of the toughest courses in the sport was a credible achievement.

The former world number one seemed to have less and less energy on Saturday.

When asked what he’s learned about his game, Woods laughed and said, “It’s rusty. I just haven’t played golf, especially competitively.”

McIlroy and Rahm left with too much to do

Every time Rory McIlroy returns to the Masters, there is an added weight of history that at times seems to have become a burden over the past decade.

McIlroy won four majors between 2011 and 2014: twice at the US PGA Championship, plus The Open and US Open.

It leaves the Masters as the one he needs to become just the sixth man to complete a career grand slam.

This week, the 34-year-old Northern Irishman’s play this week was not at the level needed to ultimately win in Augusta.

He shot a one-under 71 on Saturday, leaving him three to go and once again too far back to mount a serious challenge on Sunday.

But the world number two says his mentality will be to go out and give it a try.

“If the conditions stay the same and you get four, five, six shots, you move up the leaderboard. I’ll try to end the week on a positive note,” said McIlroy, who has six top 10 finishes in his pursuit ended up. of a place in golf history.

Defending champion Jon Rahm scraped into the weekend having only beaten the cut by one shot, but was also unable to get the low score he needed to chase the leaders.

In a quiet round, the 29-year-old Spaniard bogeyed seventh before a birdie at the 17th saw him sign for a level-par 72, leaving him five to spare for the tournament.

He said it was a “sour feeling” not to challenge for the title on Sunday.

“In the worst case scenario, I will be part of the ceremony,” added the LIV golfer, who will don the green jacket on the eventual champion, as tradition dictates.