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Golf: Bubba backs up as Masters tension heats up

Bubba Watson made four bogeys in his first seven holes Saturday and found himself clinging to a one-stroke lead at the Masters as rivals pounced during the third round. An eagle at the par-5 second at Augusta National by 2012 Master champion Watson was more than offset by bogeys at the first, par-3 fourth and sixth and seventh. Watson stood on five-under par for a one-shot edge on US 20-year-old Jordan Spieth and Sweden's Jonas Blixt, both seeking to be the first Masters rookie to win since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979, and Denmark's Thomas Bjorn.

Golf: Record-tying Woodland sizzles, fizzles at Masters

Gary Woodland matched the low front-nine in Augusta National history with a six-under par 30 Saturday, but formidable Amen Corner dimmed his hopes of winning the 78th Masters. The 29-year-old American leaped from 10 strokes off the pace at three-over when the day began into contention with an epic front side and began the back nine with a birdie to pull level for second at four-under. "I was trying to birdie every hole. I was trying to ride the momentum coming in," Woodland said.

Golf: Bubba hangs on as Kuchar, Europeans rise at Masters

Bubba Watson began the back nine with a birdie to cling to a one-stroke lead in Saturday's third round of the Masters as Matt Kuchar joined the group chasing him. Watson, the 2012 Masters winner, made four bogeys in his first seven holes Saturday, more than offsetting his eagle at the par-5 second at Augusta National. But his birdie at 10 put Watson on six under with Kuchar, Denmark's Thomas Bjorn and Sweden's Jonas Blixt on five under and American Jim Furyk on four under.

Scott's title defense all but over after third round

By Julian Linden AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Adam Scott's reign as Masters champion was as good as over after the Australian tumbled down the leaderboard in Saturday's third round. The fist-pumps and screams of "C'mon Aussie" that marked his breakthrough victory last year were a distant memory as he was unable to conjure up any of that same magic when he won the coveted green jacket.

Spain's Jimenez fires 6-under to move near top of Masters leaderboard

U.S. Sports Desk, Apr 12 (EFE).- Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez surged up The Masters leaderboard Saturday by firing a 6-under 66, giving himself a chance to battle for his first Green Jacket. Jimenez birdied the third and fifth holes and got even hotter as the round wore on, going 4-under on the back nine after carding five more birdies and making just one bogey. But the other two Spaniards that made the cut, Gonzalo Fernandez-Casta and Jose Maria Olazabal, struggled on Saturday at Augusta National in Georgia.

Watson grabs 3-shot lead at Masters half-way point

U.S. Sports Desk, Apr 12 (EFE).- American Bubba Watson has grabbed a three-shot lead at The Masters after 36 holes, firing a 4-under 68 in the second round on the strength of five consecutive birdies. The 2012 champion acknowledged Friday that he had found his groove at Augusta National and said he was determined to win his second title at one of golf's most hallowed grounds. "I'm trying to get the jacket back," Watson said. "I want that feeling again."

Mickelson heads long list of big names to miss Masters cut

By Tony Jimenez AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Triple champion Phil Mickelson led a host of big names to miss the cut at the Masters on Friday as the American failed to advance to the third round at Augusta National for the first time in 17 years. Former winners Charl Schwartzel (2011), Zach Johnson (2007), Angel Cabrera (2009) and Trevor Immelman (2008) also failed to qualify for the final two rounds.

First-round leader Haas slips down leaderboard

By Larry Fine AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - First-round leader Bill Haas went backwards with one of his shots and on the leaderboard in the second round of the Masters on Friday, stumbling to a 78 to stand nine shots off the pace. Haas, who led the field after his opening 68, had seven bogeys along with a double-bogey at the 11th, where his tee shot nestled against a tree on the left side and he was forced to hit the ball backhanded into the fairway.

Golf: Bubba three clear at Masters

Bubba Watson was set to take a three-stroke lead into the Masters weekend after a five-birdie run on the back nine in Friday's second round blasted him clear of the field. The 2012 winner started the day at Augusta National one off the lead, but a round of 68 left him three clear off the field at seven-under 137. His closest challenger was Australian John Senden, who had a 68 to get to four-under 140. A further stroke back came veteran Dane Thomas Bjorn on the back of a 68 and unheralded Swede Jonas Blixt, who carded a 71.

Golf: McIlroy survives cut at Masters

Rory McIlroy needed a nervy five-footer to stay in the Masters on Friday after a frustrating second round, but his chances of winning a first green jacket were badly dented. The 24-year-old from Northern Ireland had two double bogeys at the fourth and 10th to thank for him reaching the 18th needing a par to stay at four over, just inside the cut. His approach looked good, but failed to take the slope back down to the hole, as an identical shot from Brandt Snedeker had done some 30 minutes earlier.
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