Why we should root for Rickie Fowler to win the Masters

Sergio Garcia at the Masters

"The course is getting pretty hard out there". The reigning Olympic champion and 2013 US Open victor, who shared second-place honours at Augusta in 2015, hit a dazzling second-nine 31 en route to a third-round 5-under-par 67 that left him on 6-under for the tournament.

"(Winning on Ballesteros' birthday) would be the best thing that could happen to me, and I'm going to do my best to make sure I'm here to tell you how it feels", said Garcia.

Spieth's in the middle of his fourth straight Masters in which he played Sunday in one of the final two groups, and his cumulative score over that stretch is more than a dozen shots lower than anyone else in the field - despite the quadruple-bogey on Thursday this year and his quad meltdown on the 12th on Sunday last year.

He pronounced himself "extremely pleased" with the Saturday result, which included a birdie at the par-5 13th hole that came after he ripped a 228-yard four iron over Rae's Creek and nearly made the eagle putt. I haven't swung my best this week or as good as I have the past few weeks.

"In order to win this tournament you have to play to win". He chipped up to tap-in range, turning a potential bogey into a birdie. On 15, he made a 4-footer for the birdie. He finished with six birdies Saturday, including three in his last six holes. He went wire-to-wire to win in 2015.

He safely negotiated Amen Corner, where he came to grief spectacularly in the final round previous year, and picked up further birdies at the par-five 13th and 15th holes before dropping his only shot of the day at the par-three 16th.

"Waking up and you have a chance to win your favorite tournament that you've dreamt of winning and competing in since you were a kid, and to be able to have your fourth opportunity now".

"Shane (Lowry) hit two balls to the left and we were looking for one, we couldn't find it, we found the second one", said Garcia. Charley Hoffman sits two strokes back after falling out of the lead for the first time since Thursday after posting a four-under 68 that included a very costly double-bogey at the par-three 16th. Former Masters champion Jordan Spieth is among a group of three players a further shot back on four under. He made five more in his final seven holes, finishing with a 3 at the last.

That's the allure of Augusta National, and it's never more appealing than when so many top players are right there with a chance.

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Garcia's 70 was a major triumph for him.

"Just put yourself in position, you try not to shoot too high over the first two days, " McIlroy said.

"I haven't hit it my best this week, but I know we can pull out our best stuff tomorrow", said Fowler, whose birdies on Saturday came on the four par-5s. It's about staying patient.

And it's a big part of Augusta National, which could prove to be the ultimate challenge.

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, watches his chip shot on the eighth hole during the third round of the Masters golf tournament Saturday, April 8, 2017, in Augusta, Ga.

Charl Schwartzel, who won the Masters in 2011, shot his way back into contention with a 4-under 68 Saturday to finish Round 3 at 2 under.

Garcia has gone a combined 38-over par to average 75 in 13 prior Masters third rounds.

SPIETH'S BIG NUMBER: For a second straight year, Jordan Spieth put up a insane number at Augusta.

He bounced back from a bogey behind the 13th green by firing a 3-iron across the water and into the wind to the 15th green for a two-putt birdie.

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