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Jordan Spieth at Masters 2016: Leaderboard Score, Twitter Reaction from Saturday

Jordan Spieth at Masters 2016: Leaderboard Score, Twitter Reaction from Saturday

Jordan Spieth at Masters 2016: Leaderboard Score, Twitter Reaction from Saturday

Matt Slocum/Associated Press

Jordan Spieth held on to his outright lead at the 2016 Masters on Saturday with a one-over 73, but it could have been better if not for a bogey-double bogey finish.

The two-time major champion sits at three under overall, which puts him one stroke ahead of Smylie Kaufman. Here is a look at the leaderboard with three rounds of play officially in the books:

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The wind conditions were brutal again Saturday, and while Spieth managed them well for much of the day, they impacted his tee shots in the latter stages, leading to two bogeys and two double bogeys to go along with his five birdies:

Jordan Spieth’s 2016 Masters Scorecard – 3rd Round
Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Out
Par 4 5 4 3 4 3 4 5 4 36
Round 3 4 4 4 3 4 3 5 4 4 35
Overall Score -4 -5 -5 -5 -5 -5 -4 -5 -5 -5
Hole 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 In
Par 4 4 3 5 4 5 3 4 4 36
Round 3 4 6 2 5 3 4 3 5 6 38
Overall Score -5 -3 -4 -4 -5 -6 -6 -5 -3 -3

PGATour.com

According to ESPN Stats & Info, Spieth became the first defending champion in more than 60 years to hold an outright lead heading into the final round at the Masters after winning it the previous year:

He also has a chance to make more history Sunday if he can complete his second straight wire-to-wire win at the Masters, per Justin Ray of Golf Channel:

Following a challenging second round, Spieth conceded that the wind impacted him but tried to maintain a positive attitude heading into the weekend, per Christine Brennan of USA Today:

I’m a bit disappointed right now. It was a mental test today. With the wind and the conditions, it was difficult. It was like a U.S. Open out there. …

I dropped a few strokes today, and I’m still in the lead, but boy, that golf course changed very much on the back nine. We were trying to adjust with ever-gusting and changing winds. We’ll go out tomorrow and pretend it’s a new golf tournament and go out and try to beat the field.

Spieth’s struggles Friday allowed Rory McIlroy to gain some ground before landing in the final pairing of the day alongside the 2015 Masters winner.

The pairing of Spieth, 22, and McIlroy, 26, was historic in terms of two golfers enjoying so much success at such young ages, as Ray noted:

While that undoubtedly created some excitement among golf fans, it could have been a negative for Spieth, who had traditionally not performed well when paired with McIlroy prior to Saturday’s round, per Ray:

If Spieth was aware of that stat, he didn’t show it in the early going. After parring the first hole, Spieth took advantage of the par-five second with a fantastic approach that set the stage for a birdie.

The Masters Tournament provided a replay on Twitter:

The Texas native followed that up with four straight pars, including a great save on the par-three fourth following an errant tee shot.

That prompted ESPN’s Mike Greenberg to suggest Spieth couldn’t afford to continue struggling off the tee for the remainder of the round:

ESPN.com’s Jason Sobel also noted that Spieth wasn’t at his best, but the golfer managed to stay in front because of how difficult it was to score well on the course:

Spieth’s loose play finally came back to bite him on the par-four seventh, as he carded a bogey and was unable to bail himself out on the green.

Ever the battler, however, Spieth bounced back on the ensuing hole with a birdie on the par-five eighth. He then made the turn at one under on the day and had managed to increase his lead at that point.

After a par on No. 10, things got tighter, as his putter failed him on the par-four 11th. The former world No. 1 needed three putts and registered his second double bogey of the tournament to drop to three under par overall.

It would have been easy for Spieth to allow that negativity to snowball, but he again showed his mettle on No. 12 by sinking a crucial birdie putt to move back to four under.

Spieth’s ability to bounce back in the face of adversity was especially impressive to Tony Grossi of ESPN.com:

Following a par on the 13th, Spieth nailed another birdie putt on the par-four 14th to move to five under on the tournament and showed signs of being locked in, much like he was Thursday, as ESPN’s Skip Bayless pointed out:

That carried over to No. 15, as Spieth took advantage of another par five and carded his third birdie in four holes to increase his advantage over the rest of the field to four strokes.

Spieth made par on the 16th, but he gave a stroke back on the par-four 17th after an inaccurate tee shot that found its way into the woods.

He made the same mistake on the 18th, when he again found the woods off the tee. He recovered nicely with his second shot, but he left himself a lengthy par putt, which was far from reminiscent of what he did in the same spot last year, per Sobel:

Spieth settled for a double bogey on his final hole of the day, which left the door open for the rest of the field to potentially challenge him Sunday.

After making history Friday by holding the outright lead at the Masters for six consecutive rounds, Spieth managed to break his own record by virtue of his third-round performance, as Ray noted:

Spieth appeared to be poised to put a stranglehold on the lead after taking a four-stroke advantage on the 15th, but things got away from him on the final two holes.

It was a significant departure from his usual cool play under pressure, but he remains in an advantageous position ahead of the final round.

Only Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods have repeated as Masters champions in consecutive years, and no one has done it since Tiger pulled off the feat in 2001 and 2002.

Spieth has a golden opportunity to join elite company, but it is far from a guarantee based on how he finished off Saturday’s round.

With big names such as Jason Day and Dustin Johnson lurking just three strokes behind, Spieth can’t afford to have another implosion like he did on No. 17 and No. 18.

Spieth hasn’t been invincible over the last two rounds after a first-round 66, but he remains the man to beat and will have last year’s winning experience to draw from during Sunday’s pressure-packed moments.

Post-Round Reaction

Spieth didn’t finish the third round on an ideal note, but he is hoping to have a short memory so he can turn things around Sunday, according to Golf Digest:

Before the final two holes, he appeared like he had a firm grip on the lead, but that changed quickly, which didn’t sit particularly well with the defending champ:

Spieth also acknowledged that he has a greater challenge ahead of him than he did last year entering the fourth round:

There is no question that he was sloppy off the tee at times in the third round, and he knows he has to correct that for Sunday:

If Spieth can leave himself some easier putts and handle the pressure of leading from wire to wire, then he is still in great position to win the Masters for a second straight year.

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.