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"I had some chances on the back nine that I could have converted", admitted McIlroy, who needs to win the Masters to become the sixth player to complete a career grand slam.

"Jordan obviously has a special relationship with the Masters", Rose said. Sergio is going to have a great opportunity.

He summed up his rundown saying, "There's wonderful storylines".

But maybe he's right when he says he has a better perspective on his heretofore unsuccessful quest to win a major championship. I'll just try to take my chances, birdie the par fives, birdie some of the other holes and try not to make too many mistakes.

Justin Rose doesn't know what it feels like to win the Masters.

Sergio Garcia won his first major in dramatic fashion by defeating Justin Rose in a playoff hole on Sunday at the 2017 Masters Tournament.

Spieth played in the final group on Sunday the past three years.

"Fortunately for me, that bank seems to be a tiny bit longer this year, which is nice", Garcia said.

Fowler had a memorable 2014 major season, finishing in the top five of all four events - although he did not win.

This week, Fowler feels even more ready to take that elusive step of becoming a major champion.

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"It's going to be fun".

It was McIlroy's lowest score over the three days that sees him head into the last day sharing 11th place at level par.

Garcia had a marvelous ball-striking day, missing only three fairways and three greens, and playing a bogey-free second nine for the second time this week. It's his second straight day over par as he attempted, at 46, to become the oldest victor at Augusta National. After wowing in the opening round, the golfer ended up eating a slice of humble pie in Round 2 that put him a tied for first position.

But Jordan Spieth, minus the mashie, is giving it a pretty good run. The 37-year-old Spaniard began his round as the worst Saturday player at Augusta over the past two decades, where he has averaged 75 depressing shots.

The two-time Utah State Amateur victor finished the front nine with back-to-back birdies to shoot even-par 36 going into his final turn, and his approach shot on the 13th hole trickled set up an eagle putt to go below par. But really, it starts on the back nine on Sunday. Nine years later, in 2012, he was a shot off the 36-hole lead, but then followed with a 75. While all eyes were on Hoffman's struggles and Garcia's scrambling, he mostly escaped notice until he birdied Nos. It's the first time in his four appearances that he has not played in the final group at the Masters.

In between is 2013 Masters champion Adam Scott (69), who had one of only two bogey-free rounds and is 3 under.

America's eighth-ranked Fowler eagled the par-5 second, sinking a bunker shot, and added four birdies against a lone bogey to fire the day's low round of five-under par 67. Many times he's been in contention at the Masters, only to play himself out of it.

Defending champion Danny Willett got off to a miserable start with a quadruple-bogey eight at the first and along with Swedish world number five Henrik Stenson were among those who missed the cut, set at six over par in the year's first major.

Rose was four shots behind Spieth entering the final round two years ago.