The Masters: Rose reeled in after rapid Saturday start before weather strikes Augusta

By Sports Desk April 10, 2021

A weather delay gave Augusta leader Justin Rose time to reflect on a mixed start to Saturday's play at The Masters.

Rose had led by four strokes after the first round but saw that advantage cut to a single shot on Friday, with Will Zalatoris and Brian Harman his closest challengers.

The one-time major champion was last out on moving day but quickly set about restoring a healthy lead.

Indeed, birdies at the first two holes had Rose three clear at nine under, yet this hot streak did not last.

Rose found the bunker at four and could only rescue a bogey, before befalling the same fate at the fifth, the sand contributing again.

The Englishman recovered with par at the sixth and had just played a solid tee shot at seven when an official approached and sounded the horn to signal an imminent storm.

As play was suspended, Rose was again one ahead of Zalatoris, who was joined at six under by Marc Leishman.

Corey Conners was the day's big mover to that point, in a tie for fourth after playing 11 holes at three under.

Conners' hole in one at the par-three sixth was the highlight, coming straight after the first of two bogeys.

Justin Thomas and Hideki Matsuyama - both one under for the day - were level with Conners, while Harman was back at four under following three bogeys and a birdie through seven.

Jordan Spieth's challenge faltered, although a superb birdie brought him back level with Harman after a double-bogey at seven had threatened to knock him out of contention entirely.

Patrick Reed - two under on Saturday and one under for the week - and Phil Mickelson - three under to reach even par - were among those to complete their rounds before the weather hit.

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    American golfer Mitchell carded a five-under-par 66 to surge to the top of the leaderboard at Quail Hollow on Saturday.

    Mitchell, whose solitary PGA Tour title came via the 2019 Honda Classic, was flawless in the penultimate round after holing five birdies without dropping a shot.

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    Former world number one McIlroy, who raced out to the lead, posted a three-under-par 68 to be tied for second position alongside Gary Woodland (70).

    McIlroy was also two strokes back at the halfway stage of the tournament on Friday, having made the cut for the first time in two months.

    A healthy crowd was in attendance to watch McIlroy lurk heading into the final round and the Northern Irish star – amid the coronavirus pandemic that has impacted attendances – said: "I sort of realised that it's hard for me to bring the best out in myself without that atmosphere that we had today. I'm excited to be in the position I'm in."

    U.S. Open champion DeChambeau ended the day eight shots behind Mitchell following his third-round 68.

    DeChambeau flew home to Dallas on Friday after thinking he missed the cut. When the cut changed, the American star boarded another flight back to Charlotte.

    "It was funny," said DeChambeau. "We did a lot of scrambling last night to get back. One of the scenarios was like turning right back around, but the crew couldn't, you know, refuel and their hours were out. So we had to get a new crew, if anything, and it just didn't work out.

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