Scott Schaefler holds the 3-shot Masters lead over Cameron Smith

One day when Tiger fell further behind the controversy at the Woods Masters, it was probably Kismet that Scotty Schaffler and Cameron Smith topped the pile at the Augusta National Golf Club.

After making some of the most significant noises on the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) Tour this season, the pair will face the opportunity to roar from behind the ropes in the first major final round of the year. .

Sheffler, playing his first tournament as the world number one ranked player, posted a 1-under-par 71 to reach 9-under-207 overall on Saturday, but he saw his lead shrink by three shots in the third round in August. , GA.

Smith, the Australian who rocked a mullet under his cap, shot 4-under 68 shots for a low round of the day on a cold afternoon with a few low scores. He took control of 2nd place in 6 under and went within the striking distance of the lead.

Both Scheffler and Smith are aiming for the first major title of their careers. Smith is winning the Players Championship last month, while Schaffler has risen a meteor since starting 2022 without winning a PGA Tour to his name. He has won three tournaments in his last five starts and now has his eye on the biggest win.

“I had a lot of fun there,” Sheffler said. “I said earlier in the week that it’s fun to be in the debate, so it’s fun to be in the lead. When I’m in the lead, I try to be in the lead and not really think too much about things. Just go there and play golf. “

Woods made 78 shots in 6 overs, his career highest score in August, dropped to 7 overs and was tied for 41.St.. Woods made four double-bogies in the fifth and 18th holes and three four-poles in addition to a four-put in the 5th.

“I just couldn’t feel comfortable with the ball. The posture, the feeling, my right hand, my release, I can’t find it, “said Woods, playing in his first official tournament since his car crash 14 months ago that required multiple leg surgery. “Even as much as I had put, you thought I’d get it out somewhere along the line, but it didn’t happen.”

South Korea’s Sungzai Im is third in 4 under after carding in 1-under 71. South Africa’s Charles Schwartzel and Ireland’s Shane Lowry are both fourth in the 2nd under shot after 73 rounds.

Justin Thomas (72) and Corey Connors (72) of Canada are still tied for the week, tied for sixth place in 1 under.

Schaefler looked like he could have escaped the tournament early in the round, but four bogeys on top of his second nine helped keep the Sunday play intact. In the 18th par-4, Schaefler’s T-shot flew far to the left and was found in a bush after extensive searching. He had to accept a playable lie and his third shot landed on the green, causing an up-and-down for the buggy.

“You hate bogeying the last hole, but I definitely felt like an equal way to bogeying it,” he said. “So of course a good finish for the day and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Scheffler managed six shots in his first nine. He made four birdie sandwiches, one of which was a 17-foot birdie putt in the sixth, about one boogie in the fourth hole.

Schwartzel, playing in the final pairing with Schaefler, was an Eagle 2 at number 10, holling out from 136 yards. His gaze came just beyond the pin, and he saw that it was slowly coming back into the cup. This pushed him to 6 under, leaving Smith alone in second place.

A few teams ahead, Smith took his steps with birdies at No. 10, 13 and 15. Smith ranked his approach at 10, 13 and 15.M Within 5 feet for a bird, moving below 7.

Sheffler, meanwhile, landed in a bunker in the 12th par-3 and missed the green in his second shot. His next boogie briefly cut his lead in three shots. But Smith then hit the bunker outside the T-A in par-3 16M And how his own bogie went.

Despite making a late mistake, Smith secured his place in the final group with Schaffler on Sunday.

“I don’t think it’s going to be windy (Sunday),” Smith said. “Usually here on Sundays, especially in the back nine, you can use lots of greens for your convenience and lots of birds. Again, stay aggressive in the green and keep hitting quality shots. ”

Sheffler wrapped Amen Corner with a small birdie putt at No. 13 to return to the 11-under, but he blocked Par-4 14.M And par-5 15MThree-next Nirvana.

Im, who led the field after 18 holes, went 4 overs with his first six holes, but quietly returned with birdies at 8, 10, 12 and 15, in a long put from the green. A tall birdie putt at No. 17 put him back in third place.

After the Schwartzel Eagles, he has bogeyed four of his last eight holes to lose the lead. Lori made two birdies at first but bogeyed Nos. 9, 13 and 17.

Japan’s defending champion Hideki Matsuyama started the day at 3 under, but had to fight for 77 in 5 overs. He was tied for 14 runs.M In 2 overs. – Reuters

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