published Sunday, April 13th, 2014

Short shots from Masters round three

Bubba Watson tees off on the 17th hole during the third round of the Masters golf tournament Saturday, April 12, 2014, in Augusta, Ga.
Bubba Watson tees off on the 17th hole during the third round of the Masters golf tournament Saturday, April 12, 2014, in Augusta, Ga.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Jay Greeson breaks down Saturday's third-round action from the Masters at Augusta National.

Numbers

* 3 -- Players age 50 and older who have carded a 66 in the Masters. Miguel Angel Jimenez became the third member of that prestigious group with a 66 Saturday.

* 5 -- Putts Brandt Snedeker needed from seven feet to finish the par-3 fourth hole Saturday. It was part of a disastrous 80 that dropped the Nashville native from even par to 8 over for the tournament.

* 30 -- Shots Gary Woodland needed going out Saturday. Woodland matched the lowest score ever at the Masters on the front nine, joining Johnny Miller (third round 1975), Greg Norman (fourth round 1988), K.J. Choi (second round 2004) and Phil Mickelson (fourth round 2009).

* 296 -- Holes Bubba Watson went without three-putting before needing three on the green at No. 6 Saturday at Augusta National. Watson three-putted for par seven holes later on the par-5 13th.

Shot of the day

Watson struggled for much of the day as his distance control -- especially on the greens -- went from precise to unpredictable. He shot a 75 and managed to keep a share of the lead heading into today's final round because of a near-perfect second shot on the par-5 second. Watson carved in a high shot that caught the slope of the green and rolled to within four feet of the cup to set up his first eagle of this Masters. As rocky as Watson was, without that eagle early, he really could have rolled off the rails.

Best and worst

* Best vantage point: With the expected massive crowds milling about the Augusta National grounds, finding a good line of sight is important. It was not a tall order for 7-foot Alonzo Mourning, the former NBA player and recent basketball Hall of Fame inductee who was at the Masters on Saturday.

* Best story at dinner: Jeff Knox has a whopper. Knox, an Augusta National member and one of the better players in the club, was the noncompetitive marker playing with former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy in the first group Saturday morning. In addition to playing in a tidy three hours, Knox shot 70 to beat the two-time major champ.

"Jeff is a great player," McIlroy said. "I thought he was going to be nice and three-putt the last and we would have a halve. ... I was thinking of maybe getting him to read a few of my putts out there."

* Worst fish bait: Thomas Bjorn dropped a shot in the water on each of the par-5s on the back nine Saturday. Bjorn, who has finished as a runner-up at a major three times in his career, was nearly flawless on the other 16 holes but failed to capitalize on the scoring holes and made bogey on 13 and 15.

* Worst move on moving day: Defending champ Adam Scott was among the leaders when Saturday started at 3 under par. He went out in 4-over 40 and dropped to over par for the tournament before steadying the ship on the back nine. He starts today's final round 1 over, six off the lead.

* Best move on moving day: Let's stay with Miguel Angel Jimenez, the man known as the Mechanic. He fixed everything with a near-perfect 66 that moved the Spanish golfer from 3 over to 3 under and from playing the fourth group Saturday morning to the third final group this afternoon.

Card of the day

With all due respect to Miguel Angel Jimenez and Rickie Fowler, who put up an impressive 67 to move into contention, no one embraced the roller coaster like long-hitting Gary Woodland. The bomber blitzed the front nine with a 30 and got sacked on the back with a 39 coming in.

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

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