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  • The Masters, Round Three: What They Said

What They Said: Rory affected by Sergio's struggles

ESPN staff
April 7, 2012
Peter Hanson: 'Mickelson's eagle kind of helped me' © Getty Images
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ESPN is providing live commentary and updates during all four days of The Masters from Augusta National - along with comprehensive news views and opinions.

Rory McIlroy (one over) said that playing with Sergio Garcia (one under) didn't help him on day three. "I think we both dragged each other down. We had an idea out there to start playing foursomes, me hit the drives, Sergio hit the second and get some practice in [for the Ryder Cup]."

Peter Hanson, the leader, talking about Phil Mickelson's eagle at 13. "That was one of those special kind of Masters moments that I've been watching so many times TV wise. You hear the crowd going wild when he made the eagle. It kind of helped me on 14. I'm standing in the middle of the fairway and I feel him breathing down my neck a little bit and manage to get mine close on 14 and picked up another birdie on 15."

Three-time major winner Padraig Harrington birdied five of the last six holes to fire himself into contention at four under. "I did need it to get into contention but it was the kind of back nine you dream about hitting on a Sunday. Four under is a nice score, I just hope the leaders don't go away, although if they are at nine under it does take away a bit of the pressure and allow me to chase with more freedom."

Ian Poulter, two under for the tournament, bemoaned his yo-yo day. "The front nine was a rollercoaster ride and having six birdies and only shooting two under was frustrating, but hopefully by the back nine [on Sunday] I'll be in a good position. We all know what they do with the pin positions on a Sunday and it does open up the golf course to low scoring. I'll have to make birdies when I can."

Tiger Woods has played the par-fives in one under so far this week, and after Saturday's play he rued that fact. "I was so close to putting it together today. Unfortunately I did not play the par-fives very well."

Justin Rose after dropping four shots in his last four holes to finish the day on level par: "I played well for the first 14 holes. It was nice to get to four under with a nice run of birdies on the front nine and get momentum going but disaster struck on last four holes. [On the 15th], I thought it was plenty of club. It looked good and landed on the green but as I started walking the ball ran back down into the lake. From then on it's a tough finish."

Luke Donald, who starts the final round seven over: "It's difficult when you feel like you have lost your ability to contend on Sunday, which is the goal at the majors. There is nothing worse than waking up on Sunday knowing that whatever you do it is not going to be good enough.

"I will always keep trying my hardest until the very end and tomorrow will be no different. You get in certain situations and learn from those shots. You certainly learn something in every round around here."

Brandt Snedeker, one-under after a round of 68, is hoping to set a target on Sunday after finding some form with his putter. He said: "I feel like the first two days I hit the ball pretty similar as I did today but I struggled with the putter. I missed a lot of 5-to-10 footers, which you have got to make around here if you want to play well. Today I made those putts. Besides the last hole I played pretty flawlessly.

"I think (I need to go) two or three-under on the front nine [tomorrow]," said Snedeker. "I'm going to give myself a shouting chance on the back nine, go out and be aggressive on the back nine, the two par fives, maybe post a six- or seven-under par tomorrow and try to hit some pressure on those guys that will be playing later in the day."

Amateur Patrick Cantlay needs to make up a six shot deficit on Hideki Matsuyama if he is to be the Low Amateur for the tournament and echo his achievement at the US Open. He shot 77, but said: "I played really well, actually. I hit a lot of solid shots and I rolled some good putts, it's just the score didn't really reflect it."

Lee Westwood slipped to five strokes off the lead after carding an even-par round on day three, but remains hopeful he can cut the deficit in the final round. He said: "I wasn't striking it properly. I hit it short, so that makes this golf course tough. It was a good scramble to get around in 72. I'm only five back. It's not as close as I'd like, but there's a chance.

"Charl (Schwartzel) made all those birdies to finish last year. Anything is possible. This golf course gives you a chance if you're playing well. They've got the flags set so you can make a couple of eagles."

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