Garcia, Rose share lead at the Masters

AUGUSTA GA- APRIL 07 Thomas Pieters of Belgium waves on the 18th green during the second round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club

Rob Carr Getty Images Second round co-leader Thomas Pieters of Belgium is among the first-timers having an excellent run at the Masters Tournament

Garcia, the most vexed player without a major in his generation, hung his head when a 4-iron from the first cut of rough on the par-5 13th came out soft and disappeared into the tributary of Rae's Creek in front of the green.

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. "You have to play the wind gusts and be careful where you hit it". Good shots were rewarded, but if you got sloppy you could get on the wrong side.

"I don't want to think past the first tee tomorrow, although it's nice to imagine what might happen right now. But mostly, especially as it gets closer, all I'm going to think about is the first tee".

Rose and Garcia are both a 6-under through 54 holes.

"I'm excited about the challenges that this weekend is going to bring and hopefully I'll step up to them and I'll be able to be up there on Sunday with a solid chance at winning this attractive tournament". Sergio Garcia received the kind of break that allowed him to wonder if maybe the golfing gods are finally on his side after all these years. "I'm sure he would tell me to believe in myself, enjoy it as much as possible and just do my best".

"The big thing the first two days was going out there, be patient and take what the course was going to give us", Fowler said.

Spieth, who has finished only second and first at Augusta National in his career, carded a four-under par 68 and heads in to his fourth Masters tied for fourth and in with a chance to over-come the demons of a year ago and win his second green jacket. Spieth had a quadruple bogey on the 15 hole on Thursday, but two consecutive under-par rounds have left him two shots back of the leaders with compatriots Charley Hoffman and Ryan Moore.

Mickelson looked primed to launch a Saturday charge when he birdied the first and second to reach two under, but a clumsy double bogey followed for the three-time champion at the third and he then dropped another shot at the par-three sixth.

Garcia, winless in 73 prior major starts, slid to second alongside American Jordan Spieth, the 2015 Masters victor and 2016 runner-up, at four-under.

"I mean, may as well swing freely, play with confidence", said Spieth. "We made our goal which was to shoot four (under par) which was going to give us a chance tomorrow". "If I can play something like today and maybe finish it off a little better that might be enough".

That put him one clear of Fowler, Pieters, Garcia and William McGirt, who was two under for the day through five.

His playing partner for the third round, three-time champion Phil Mickelson, started with two birdies, then struggled en route to a 74. He was vitrually out of contention, eight strokes behind in a tie for 21st.

Justin Rose charged from behind on the back nine at Augusta National. "But writing articles is easy". "What I was saying to the reporter is, 'Golf is hard.' So if he tried to play golf, it would be very tough".

"I'm going to need my best score around - 65". It was a joke. "Obviously, I made a bad joke, just like I played bad golf this week". Golf Channel commentator Notah Begay, a friend of Woods and his former teammate at Stanford, had some idea on Friday as to when Woods might return. "That's probably the event that's circled on his calendar". That group includes world No. 2 Rory McIlroy, who was only five shots behind despite not shooting under par either of the first two rounds. He made his only birdie on the 18th hole. And now the 81st Masters Tournament is wide open.

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