Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed set up a mouth-watering repeat of their Ryder Cup showdown as damp conditions failed to prevent fireworks in the 82nd Masters.
And while Reed will start the final day with a three-shot lead on 14 under par, McIlroy will arguably have the momentum in pursuit of the win he needs to complete a career grand slam after a dramatic finish to a roller-coaster third round at Augusta National.
Reed responded to seeing McIlroy erase a five-shot overnight deficit by firing a hat-trick of birdies from the eighth and then making two eagles in the space of three holes on the back nine.
That took the 27-year-old five shots clear once more, but a three-putt bogey on the 16th gave the chasing pack renewed hope and McIlroy took full advantage with a birdie on the last.
The resulting 65 matched McIlroy’s opening round in 2011, when he led by four shots after 54 holes but collapsed to a closing 80, while Reed’s 67 means he can become the first player in Masters history to card all four rounds in the 60s.
“I got on a nice run on the front nine before the birdies dried up, but to birdie two of the last four holes was huge, especially with that up and down on 17,” McIlroy said.
“It’s massive to be in the final group for the first time here since 2011. I feel like I learned an awful lot that day and hopefully I can putt that into practice tomorrow.
“I’m really excited to show everyone what I’ve got, to show Patrick Reed what I’ve got and all the pressure is on him. He went to Augusta State and has a lot of support and I’m hoping to come in here and spoil the party.”
Final round tee-times (all BST)
- 1500 – Vijay Singh
- 1510 – Ian Poulter, Brian Harman
- 1520 – Chez Reavie, Phil Mickelson
- 1530 – Tyrrell Hatton, a-Doug Ghim
- 1540 – Martin Kaymer, Kyle Stanley
- 1550 – Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Xander Schauffele
- 1600 – Bryson DeChambeau, Branden Grace
- 1610 – Rafael Cabrera Bello, Tiger Woods
- 1620 – Bernhard Langer, Fred Couples
- 1640 – Xsch Johndon, Webb Simpson
- 1650 – Ryan Moore, Jhonattan Vegas
- 1700 – Adam Scott, Daniel Berger
- 1710 – Haotong Li, Paul Casey
- 1720 – Adam Hadwin, Hideki Matsuyama
- 1730 – Satoshi Kodaira, Russell Henley
- 1740 – Kevin Kisner, Francesco Molinari
- 1750 – Matthew Fitzpatrick, Si Woo Kim
- 1800 – Charley Hoffman, Tony Finau
- 1820 – Jimmy Walker, Matt Kuchar
- 1830 – Jason Day, Bernd Wiesberger
- 1840 – Justin Rose, Louis Oosthuizen
- 1850 – Dustin Johnson, Cameron Smith
- 1900 – Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth
- 1910 – Bubba Watson, Marc Leishman
- 1920 – Henrik Stenson, Tommy Fleetwood
- 1930 – Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm
- 1940 – Patrick Reed, Rory McIlroy