MASTERS 2017: The third round in numbers

Published:

It was the day saw Justin Rose make the biggest move with a 67, and Phil Mickelson drop back with a 74.

It was a day that saw Rory McIlroy tread water with a 71 and, perhaps most significantly of all, Jordan Spieth continue his recovery from his Thursday calamity on the 15th to lurk just two behind the lead.

After 54 holes at Augusta National, there are 14 of players within six shots of the lead, including four Major winners. Danny Willett came from three back to win last year and as much as Sunday often provides pyrotechnics, history suggests the winner will come from the players from Adam Scott and above. Former champions Scott and Spieth are among that number.

Since his nine at the 15th on Thursday, Spieth has played his 39 subsequent holes in eight under. After that quadruple bogey at 15 he's played the hole twice in nine since then, with apar five and birdie four. No-one has won a Green Jacket with more than a treble on his card - has anyone won any sort of event with a nine on their card?!

His impressive run since Thursday has seen Spieth record 29 holes without a bogey during the week, three more than Ryan Moore. A lot of stats, as well as a sense of vengeance for last year's meltdown, point towards him claiming his second Green Jacket on Sunday.

Rose will have a say in that though, the former US Open champion matching the best back nine score for the week to give himself an opportunity for a second Major with his inward half of 31, two better than Jason Day and Charl Schwartzel. He also made the joint highest number of birdies for the day, with seven.

Coming into the week, Sergio Garcia's three-putt stats at Augusta since 2013 read: 2, 4, 3, and 7. It was becoming a serious problem for the Spaniard but it's one he seems to be correcting. He recorded his first three putt of the week in the third round but a more sure touch on the greens has helped him to a share of the lead. Avoiding a three-putt from the length of the 18th green on Saturday was surely crucial to his mindset before his round on Sunday.

In an era of big-hitters and on a course slated to reward the longest drivers, Soren Kjeldesen has hit 37 out of a possible 42 fairways this week.

No-one can come close to the Dane's remarkable consistency but, after Garcia in second, it's interesting to note two seasoned Augusta competitors, Steve Stricker and Fred Couples, are next best.

Muscular American Brooks Koepka, on the fringes of contention at two over, has averaged 295.8 yards for the week so far, just ahead of Jason Day.

Another mention for Couples; his 'Boom Boom' nickname is still relevant, given he is 23rd in driving distance, aged 58. The '92 Master averaged over 300 yards in his third round. 

Lee Westwood got himself back in contention with his third-round 68 via an unlikely route: his putting. The Englishman led the Average Putts per Green in Regulation stat at 1.54. He was also third in the average putts per hole category (1.5) and 12th in the Strokes Gained stat.

The back pin position led to the 18th being the toughest hole in Saturday with just five birdies being made on the uphill finisher, which played 0.301 over its par of four.

It was a similar story on the 16th, the pin position on the top ledge leading to just a solitary birdie and 12 three-putt bogeys. It averaged 3.121.

Normal service was resumed on 13 and 15 though, which were the easiest and third-easiest holes in the third round. After playing unusually tough on the first two days, the legendary par 5s averaged 4.6 and 4.717 on a windless day in Georgia.

fatansy golf