Day 3 at Augusta

There are a lot of players in with a chance, but the prospect of Reed and Rory in the final pairing is a mouthwatering one, particularly given their explosive meeting in the Ryder Cup singles at Hazeltine in 2016.

Hopefully, for Patrick Reed's welfare, between now and Sunday no one reminds him this isn't a Ryder Cup.

Were it to be stretched, McIlroy said, "honestly it would probably play into the longer hitters' hands".

"Every time we play each other, we seem to have a lot of fun". But at the end of the day, it's business and we're both trying to do something pretty special.

The second round, which featured some tricky wind conditions and particularly hard pin positions (only 16 of the 87 players broke par on Friday), provided somewhat of a correction from Day 1 in that some of the big names in the sport who struggled on Thursday emerged on Friday. He's 11 under for the tournament after shooting a 69 in the first round and 71 in the second round before Saturday's 65. McIlroy is three shots back, with the likes of Rickie Fowler (9 under), Spain's Jon Rahm (8 under) and Sweden's Henrik Stenson (7 under) still within striking distance.

Reed, ranking 24th in the world and chasing a first major title, has come into the day with a two-stroke lead and was unbowed in the face of four-time major victor McIlroy's surge.

Joining Woods at the cut line is three-time Masters champion, Phil Mickelson. That included a chip-in on No. 15 to extend his lead to five after narrowly clearing the water that Sergio Garcia dumped five balls into on Thursday. Well, not entirely. Since 2000, any player with a two- or three-shot lead after 36 holes who has not yet won a major - and Reed is seeking his first - has not won the Masters.

Patrick Reed had a 5-under 67 for a three-shot lead. Along with the birdie on No. 15, he closed with a birdie on the final hole to post the third 7-under 65 of the round-joining Fowler and Rahm. "But then to birdie two of the last four holes was huge".

Ridley strongly hinted at pending changes by saying: "Our observation of these great players hitting middle and even short irons into that hole is not a momentous decision". Now there is one day to go and I hope I can continue doing what I've been doing.

Reed also doesn't buy into the idea that the pressure is all on him. "He went to Augusta State". "I feel like I can go out there and play like I've got nothing to lose". That's five strokes in eight holes. Reed, meanwhile, has been remarkably steady, hitting eagle on the 13th and 15th holes and claiming birdie another four times on Saturday.

"I told my caddy, 'look, when this course plays tough, I'm good for a double bogey here or some bogeys there".

Martin Kaymer, of Germany, reacts after missing a birdie putt on the 13th hole during the second round at the Masters golf tournament Friday, April 6, 2018, in Augusta, Ga. After opening with a 73 - and boldly proclaiming that he was right in the mix of things - he struggled to a 3-over 75 Friday. The historical stats tell us the par-4 10th is the hardest, now playing to 4.31. In my spare time I play golf and Ultimate frisbee, dabble in photography and make my auto less comfortable on the street just so that it'll be quicker at the track. "With the way the back nine was playing today, the wheels could have come off there".

"I am leading", he said. Just like that he was behind, and it kept getting worse.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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