The Latest: Matsuyama up by 4 going into Masters final round

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Hideki Matsuyama, of Japan, watches his shot on the 15th hole during the third round of the Masters golf tournament on Saturday, April 10, 2021, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

AUGUSTA, Ga. – The Latest on the Masters, the first golf major of the year (all times EDT):


7:45 p.m.

The third round of the Masters is over, and Hideki Matsuyama has a four-shot lead over Xander Schauffele, Marc Leishman, Justin Rose and Will Zalatoris.

Matsuyama becomes the first Japanese player in Masters history to lead after any round.

Matsuyama shot a 7-under 65 on Saturday to move to 11 under for the week.

His four closest rivals are 7 under: Schauffele shot 68, Leishman 70, Zalatoris 71 and Rose his second consecutive 72. Rose led after the first two rounds.


7 p.m.

Hideki Matsuyama shot a 7-under 65 on Saturday and was three shots clear of the field at 11 under when he finished the third round of the Masters.

He is in position to become the first Japanese player to lead after any round of the tournament. Japan had players come to the Masters for the first time in 1936.

Matsuyama had five birdies, one eagle and no bogeys in his third round. He was 4 under for the tournament through six holes on Saturday, after parring each to open his third round.

He shot 7 under the rest of the way.


6:30 p.m.

The Masters has a new leader.

Hideki Matsuyama's 5-foot putt for eagle at the par-5 15th put him in the lead, and he followed that with a short birdie putt at the par-3 16th to become the first player this week to reach 10 under at Augusta National.

He's two shot ahead of Justin Rose during the third round of the Masters.

Rose made birdie at the par-4 12th to get to 8 under.

Xander Schauffele — playing with Matsuyama — rolled in a 60-footer for eagle on the 15th to get to 7 under, tied for third with Will Zalatoris.


6:15 p.m.

Justin Thomas was having an up-and-down Saturday at the Masters: three birdies, three bogeys through 12 holes, all leaving him three back of the lead at that point.

And then he went to the par-5 13th.

His tee shot sailed way right, into pine straw. He punched out from there into the fairway, leaving about an 80-yard chip for his third shot.

Things got worse in a hurry. That third shot was well short, ending up in the water and the ball getting carried away in the current that picked up by rainwater that fell at Augusta National over the previous hour. He took a drop, played a terrible chip for his fifth well above the hole and three-putted for a triple-bogey 8.

In one hole, he went from three back to six back. It was the first triple-bogey of the week at No. 13, which has been the third-easiest hole so far in the Masters.


5:40 p.m.

Play has resumed at Augusta National after a 1-hour, 18-minute break because of thunderstorms in the area.

The leaderboard has tightened up considerably.

Justin Rose managed only a par on the par-5 8th hole, and remained at 7 under. Hideki Matsuyama made back-to-back birdies on the par-4 11th and par-3 12th to pull into a tie with Rose for the lead.

Marc Leishman and Will Zalatoris are one back at 6 under. Jordan Spieth's topsy-turvy round continued with a chip-in birdie at the par-4 10th, getting him to 5 under.


4:10 p.m.

The third round of the Masters is being delayed by thunderstorms in the area.

Justin Rose was at 7-under par and has a one-shot lead over Will Zalatoris. Officials approached them on the seventh green to let them know they were about to blow the horn to suspend play.

It's the first time this week that weather has halted play at Augusta National.

Corey Conners, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Thomas and Marc Leishman were at 5 under. Jordan Spieth made a double bogey on No. 7, only to bounce back with a blind shot off pine straw and over trees from 95 yards to 4 feet for birdie. He was three shots back.


3:40 p.m.

Jordan Spieth already had to overcome a triple bogey in the opening round to stay in the mix at the Masters. Now he's added a double bogey to his week.

Spieth was two shots off the lead when he pulled his tee shot on the tree-lined seventh. He sent the next one well to the right into the gallery, leaving him no realistic shot at the green. His third went into the bunker, he blasted out to about 8 feet and started walking as soon as he hit his bogey putt, knowing he missed it.

Justin Rose opened with two birdies, dropped consecutive shots on Nos. 4 and 5 and was at 7 under. He was leading by one over Will Zalatoris and Marc Leishman.


2:25 p.m.

Corey Conners has made a move at the Masters, with just one swing.

The Canadian made a hole-in-one at the par-3 6th hole on Saturday, getting him to 3 under for the day, 5 under for the tournament and within two shots of leader Justin Rose. Conners’ ace came just moments before Rose teed off to begin his third round.

Conners’ tee shot at the 180-yard hole bounced once, then rolled smack into the pin and dropped into the cup. It was the second hole-in-one at this year’s Masters; Tommy Fleetwood had one at the 16th hole in Thursday’s opening round.

Conners had the 33rd hole-in-one in Masters history and the sixth at No. 6. The last player to ace that hole during the Masters was Jamie Donaldson in 2013.


2:15 p.m.

Phil Mickelson has broken 70 yet again at Augusta National.

The three-time Masters champion shot a 3-under 69 on Saturday, getting him back to even for the tournament.

It was his second consecutive day of shaving three shots off the prior round's score: He opened with a 75, made the cut on the 3 over number by shooting 72 on Friday, then had a four-birdie, one-bogey day Saturday.

It was Mickelson's 33rd round in the 60s at Augusta National, six shy of matching Jack Nicklaus' Masters record.

Francesco Molinari also posted a 69 on Saturday, also getting him even going into Sunday's final round.


12:55 p.m.

Billy Horschel has gone into the water, and onto his backside, at the Masters.

Horschel had all sorts of fun at the par-5 13th hole at Augusta National on Saturday. He sent his tee shot into the pine straw off the right of the fairway, then played his second shot into a tributary of Rae’s Creek in front of the green.

This left him with two challenges: getting the ball out of the water — and getting to the water.

Horschel removed his golf shoes and socks, rolled up the legs of his white pants to the calves, then proceeded to walk barefoot down the slope toward the water.

He slipped on the grass and fell onto his butt, drawing a good laugh from the patrons — even more so when he turned his backside toward playing partner Phil Mickelson to assess the damage.

Horschel played his third out of the water to well above the hole, put his shoes and socks back on and two-putted for a par that was anything but routine.

With a bit of a grass stain to prove it, too.


10 a.m.

It's moving day at the Masters. The question going into Saturday is which way the traffic flows.

Justin Rose had a one-shot lead over Brian Harman and Will Zalatoris, the last two players to get into the field. Jordan Spieth was two shots behind. In all, 16 players were separated by five shots going into the third round.

The chance of rain is moderate but greater than it has been all week. Of greater interest is whether the forecast holds of gusts upward of 20 mph about the time the leader tees off. If that's the case, the idea might be to not go backward.

Rose is a former U.S. Open champion and this is the seventh time he has been in front after any round at the Masters, but never when it's the final round. More telling is that he has gone more than two years without winning anywhere.

The last time someone ended a drought that long by winning the Masters was Zach Johnson in 2007.

Another historical nugget to consider: No one from outside the top 10 through 36 holes has won the Masters since Charl Schwartzel 10 years ago.