Fowler sits 3rd at Masters: 'Right where I'm supposed to be'

Rickie Fowler shot a third-round 71 and trails leaders Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia by one stroke at the Masters.

He also birdied the par-four third after nearly driving the green, but his charge started to peter out when he three-putted from long range for bogey at the par-four fifth after misclubbing with his approach shot.

Fowler knows he faces a daunting leaderboard Sunday, from Rose and Garcia ahead of him, to 2015 Masters champion Jordan Spieth, who is in a three-way tie for fourth behind him, to 2013 Masters victor Adam Scott, who is seventh at 3 under.

He has more work to do than in 2013 when he trailed by one after three rounds before prevailing in a playoff victory over Argentine Angel Cabrera.

On playing with Rose, Garcia said it would be fun but, at the end of the day, he had a job to do. Hoffman battled for par on the last hole to stay just two shots behind.

Spieth, the 23-year-old Texan who shot 75 to open the Masters, including an ugly nine on the 15th hole, followed his 69 on Friday with a smooth 68 on Saturday to play himself to nearly the very top of the leaderboard.

A 295-yard drive into the pine straw on the par-5 13th left him with a dicey decision. Rose birdied the 16th, but on the 17th he bogeyed after Garcia had missed an easy birdie putt. More than just survive on Friday, he posted a 5-under 67 that gave him a share of the lead for the first time in a major. Spieth made a quadruple bogey in the opening round.

"I know that anything can happen", said Spieth.

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"I liked my confidence on the greens". "I know that; if I am able to jump out into the lead, I know that you have to keep the gas pedal down and pretend you're not". But really, it starts on the back nine on Sunday. "You're going to have to go out and play a good round of golf, and I think there's going to be four or five guys pretty much with the same mindset tomorrow".

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Rose could use another back nine like he had in the third round. There are 10 golfers in red numbers and another 10 within seven shots of the leaders. He picked up two more on the par 5s and finished with birdie putts of 20 feet and 12 feet on the last two holes for a 5-under 67. Garcia pitched up to within a foot for a tap-in birdie that could have easily been a bogey.

Garcia has never seriously contended in the Masters, however, so while this is 19th appearance at Augusta, being part of a 36-hole lead is new territory. He'll enter Sunday tied with Justin Rose at 6 under. Garcia bogeyed the first two holes on the back nine, but got back within one stroke with a birdie on the 14th.

Rickie Fowler was not going to let another meeting of major championship and masterful form go by without putting himself in position to break through. He will be paired in the final group with Rose, one of his friends. That's all you want but really it starts on the back nine on Sunday.

"I don't think so".

Rose played in the final group when Jordan Spieth won in 2015 with a record-tying score, finishing at 14-under 274 that year, which tied for lowest non-winning score and has been bettered only six times in tournament history.

"It's the kind of place that if you are trying to fight against it, it's going to beat you down", Garcia told reporters. Two holes later, he almost holed a wedge from the 15th fairway. He had a two-shot lead with 11 holes to play in his debut in 2014 before Bubba Watson overtook him.

"I'm going to need my best score around here, 65, to have a chance".

Charley Hoffman was tied for the lead until he found the water on the par-three 16 hole, leading to two dropped shots - the American is two shots off the pace.

Australia's Adam Scott, the 2013 Masters victor, was seventh on 213 with 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel of South Africa another stroke adrift with England's Lee Westwood and Belgium's Thomas Pieters on 215. Lee Westwood, a runner-up previous year and in search of his first major title at age 43, had 68 and is five back as is Masters rookie Thomas Pieters (75).

Rory McIlroy admitted he had simply not played well enough after his third attempt to complete the career grand slam failed to spark into life at Augusta National. He was six shots behind. Phil Mickelson, 46, started the day four shots off the lead but shot 74 and is now eight back.

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