Finau rockets into Masters lead with blistering front nine


Augusta National is at the mercy of the field for the third round so far.

And by the time Woods got to the first tee there was a large crowd congregating eager to catch a glimpse of the 43-year-old.

McIlroy got his round under way with a ideal drive and an approach to 25 feet but left his birdie putt inches short and then strangely opted to hit a three wood off the tee on the par-five second. Day also shot a 67.

Yet Woods provided the day's biggest talking point, as he surged into contention having survived a dramatic scare on the 14th hole when a security guard - running in a bid to control spectators - slipped and nearly knocked golf's biggest star off his feet.

After Woods hit his second shot, a security guard slipped on muddy ground and slid into Woods's right foot, causing a few fearful moments before the superstar tested his ankle and walked on unharmed.

Woods initially skipped away as the golfing world collectively held its breath, but showed no ill effects during the remainder of his round and was just an inch from a share of the lead when he left a 15-foot putt short on the final green.

"We have been dealing with mud balls pretty much all week, so I'm going to pray for clean golf balls in the fairway and we'll go at it from there", said Fowler, 7 under after a 68 on Saturday.

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Spieth, who has struggled for much of the past year and has no finishes better than 30th in 2019, rallied with a 68 during the second round to get to 1 under par for the tournament. It must be the hills, because I've been playing and hitting a lot of balls recently with no ill-effects.

"I put myself in a good place for the weekend", Scott said.

Koepka fired a 71 despite a double-bogey disaster at the par-5 second hole, birdies at 15 and 18 salvaging a sub-par round.

It was a brief scare for 14-time major victor Woods during the closing stages of his round, following another solid day on the big stage.

But he feels he's getting closer.

U.S. left-hander Phil Mickelson, who at 48 would become the oldest major champion in golf history with a win, shot 73 in his 100th career Masters round to stand three off the lead.

Rose, Garcia and Willett, at four-over-par 148, missed by one stroke, while Schwartzel was two shots over the line. Former victor Trevol Immelman finished at two over while Branden Grace was at three over for the day.