Toss that card
Fred Couples was again playing in the final pairing on a Saturday at the Masters, but the 53-year-old endured a second consecutive Saturday plunge. Couples went from one shot off the lead to a round of 5-over-par 77 and more or less out of contention. Two holes undid everything: a double bogey after a bad bunker shot on No. 7 and a triple bogey on No. 17.
Keep that card
Tim Clark finished second to Phil Mickelson in the 2006 Masters, the South African and North Carolina State product's best-ever finish at a major. Clark, who missed the cut at the past three Masters, made birdie on five of the first seven holes and shot a 5-under 67. "Going off early, the front nine, the greens are somewhat receptive," Clark said. "So I was able to get some birdies early and sort of try and hang on."
On the course with ...
Defending Masters champion Bubba Watson made up some ground with a 2-under 70. But at nine strokes back, he knows his chances of winning a second consecutive green jacket are pretty slim.
"I'd have to shoot a real low one tomorrow to have a chance," Watson said.
An odd number of players made the cut and Watson was the first one out, so he played with a marker: Jeff Knox, who holds the non-tournament course record from the members' tees at 61. They made their way around Augusta National in a blistering 3 hours and 20 minutes.
Rory McIlroy tumbled down the leaderboard after dropping five shots in five holes, a round of 79 almost as bad as his final-round meltdown two years ago.
McIlroy put two balls in the water on the back nine, and he needed pars on his last two holes just to break 80. He is at 5 over for the tournament.
The No. 2 player in the world called it a "very frustrating day," and said his chances to win at Augusta were "gone" after the five-shot swing. He dropped three more shots when he went in the water on 15 and made bogey on the par-3 16.
Rules officials kept a close eye on 14-year-old Chinese amateur Guan Tianlang on Saturday, a day after a penalty for slow play nearly kept him from playing the weekend.
The youngest player to make the cut at the Masters said he was never put on the clock, but he was told at least twice on the back nine to pick up his pace.
Guan, playing with Thorbjorn Olesen, shot 77. The two finished their round in about four hours — just about right.
"The weather is good today and we played in twosomes," Guan said. "So we played fast."
Quote of the day
"We have all hit a thousand golf shots before. They all seem to get a little bit bigger and a little bit more challenging when a tournament's on the line, but hopefully the experience from last year and the continued good play throughout the year has helped and will help [Sunday]."
— Matt Kuchar, after he shot 3-under 69 to enter the final round alone in sixth at 4 under. Last year, Kuchar made an eagle on the 15th hole to tie for the Masters final-round lead, only to bogey the 16th and finish two shots out of a playoff.
Play begins at 8:20 a.m. when Keegan Bradley tees off. Tiger Woods and Clark tee off at 1:10 p.m.; Jason Day and Kuchar at 1:20; Adam Scott and Marc Leishman at 1:30; and the final pair of Brandt Snedeker and Angel Cabrera are at 1:40 p.m.