Gold medalist, bridesmaid in the lead for the green jacket in Augusta

Fowler in first-place foursome in Masters

Fowler in first-place foursome in Masters

Justin Rose had a back-nine charge so common at Augusta National. All within two shots.

England's Justin Rose and Spain's Sergio Garcia are tied at the top at 6-under par and will go off together in the final group. I think that the main thing that has improved is the way I'm looking at it the last, probably, two or three years, and obviously this year.

But Rose started a run of three straight birdies at the sixth to quickly erase the deficit. Phil Mickelson, 46, started the day four shots off the lead but shot 74 and is now eight back.

Next is Spieth, who opened with 75. The 2015 Master champion is 3 over through 10 holes and a daunting seven shots behind.

Spieth said he's merely grateful for the chance after his hard opening round that included a 9 on the par-5 15th hole. "So I'm just going to enjoy it as much as possible".

Jordan Spieth faced an important decision on Saturday at the par-5 13th at Augusta National Golf Club.

Rose, who won his first major at the 2013 US Open, captured the first Olympic golf crown since 1904 a year ago in Rio. He'll play in the penultimate pairing with Rickie Fowler, a top-10 finisher six times in majors but without a championship.

It figures to be quite a Sunday shootout at the Masters.

One shot off the lead is Rickie Fowler, who shot 71 and is in his best position to win his first major.

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Charley Hoffman hits to the 13th hole during the third round of the Masters golf tournament Saturday, April 8, 2017, in Augusta, Ga.

The South African carded a dismal round of 83 to drop out of contention in what is likely to be his final appearance at Augusta. "So you've just got to roll with it and realize that sometimes you're going to get good breaks, like has happened to me a few times this week, and sometimes you're going to get not so good breaks". "We'll see, unless we do something down the road. You know, it would be nice to have a chance and hopefully do it". That happened. But I'm still (T-11), six shots back.

"If I had had a better lie in the bunker on 3, the fairway bunker, I might have gone bogey-free today". That includes Garcia, who has had close calls in every major he has played except the Masters - until now.

Brendan Steele had the hottest start at the Masters on Sunday. It's tough protecting a lead on this golf course, because it's one where you need to play aggressive to win and protecting the lead, you don't want to play aggressive. The Farmer's Insurance Open champ is sure of that now after three days of overall strong golf.

Rose shared second behind Spieth in 2015 and said he was comfortable in the lead and looking forward to the last round.

Rose and Garcia, friends and European Ryder Cup teammates, tee off in just less than two hours.

Garcia and Fowler will also be seeking their first major wins. Jordan Spieth got his name high on those famous white leaderboards, the only spot he has ever occupied on the weekend at the Masters. Sergio's going to have a great opportunity.

Rose, who also birdied the eighth, said he felt his strong finish to the third round coming.

SPIETH'S SURGE: Perhaps the best comeback of this tournament belongs to Jordan Spieth. He made another quadruple bogey at No. 15 on Thursday and went to sleep that night anxious about just making the cut.

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