|-11 H Matsuyama (Jpn); -7 X ScHotele (United States), M Leishman (Aus), J Rose (Eng), W Zalatoris (United States); -6 C Conners (Can); -5 J Spieth (United States); -4 B Harman (United States)|
|Others selected: -2 R MacIntyre (Sco); +1 M Laird (Sco), T Fleetwood (Eng), M Fitzpatrick (Eng), M Wallace (Eng); +3 I Poulter (Eng), T Hatton (Eng); +4 P Casey (Eng)|
Hideki Matsuyama shot a 65 on Saturday to take a four-stroke lead on the final day of the Masters as he aims to become the first Japanese to win a major.
The 29-year-old posted the first inning without a bogey at Augusta National this week to push England’s Justin Rose to first place and lead 11 under.
The Pink Night leader has climbed to a 72 and is one of the four to seven cents.
Americans Xander Sc Chaudele and Will Zalatoris and Australian Marc Leishman are also tied with Rose.
ScHotele had four birdies, an eagle and two bogeys in his 68, while Leishman had four birdies in his 70.
Jordan Spieth, the 2015 champion, is two further behind after recovering from a double bogey at seven to make a par 72 that leaves him five under.
Scotsman Robert MacIntyre, in his Masters debut, is two under par in 10th after a second consecutive 70, trading six birdies with four bogeys.
“When the wind died down we could kind of go there. I’m pretty happy with the game the last two days,” said the 24-year-old.
World number two Justin Thomas started the day with three shots back but endured a tough round in which he landed four bogeys and a triple bogey eight to 13 to slip to one under par.
The game was suspended for more than an hour on Saturday due to a storm that swept through Georgia.
Matsuyama makes his move
Matsuyama posted rounds of 69 and 71 to keep himself on hand heading into the weekend and he started the third day outside of the pace set by Rose.
The world No.25 got off to a steady start with pars on his first six holes before a birdie-seven precedes an impressive run.
With Rose losing shots in the fourth and fifth, the former world number two carded two successive birdies on 11 and 12 to take a lead with the Englishman.
It became a three-way tie for first place when Zalatoris, playing in the final couple alongside Rose, birdied in the 10th.
ScHotele briefly made four players in a share of the lead with an eagle to par five 15s, only for Rose to birdie 12 moments later and again cross to eight under.
But it was Matsuyama who took the lead a few seconds later with an eagle of his own in the 15th to spend nine cents.
Matsuyama, who held a top 10 spot in the last round of a major eight times, extended his lead to two after landing his par three 16th four feet from the pin, before to push for birdie.
He extended that advantage to three shots with a 10-foot birdie putt at 17, and did a smart up and down to save par on 18 and put the clubhouse header.
Matsuyama, who has two top-10s at Augusta National, becomes the first Japanese player to lead a Masters round.
“Before the horn sounded I didn’t have a very good drive, but after the restart I hit almost all the punches exactly the way I wanted,” he said after playing all eight. last holes in six under par.
“It will be a new experience for me, being a leader going into the final round of a major. All I can do is relax, prepare well and do my best.”
Rose struggles to stay in touch
Rose’s struggles in the first two laps came in the first seven holes, despite not bogeying the two days after that.
The 40-year-old made a birdie-birdie start on Saturday before being caught by successive four-and-five bogeys, but that meant he still held a one-shot lead when the hooter rang as he was on the seventh green.
An hour and 18 minutes later the Englishman returned and finished the first nine with a series of starts.
Rose looked to be in trouble on the 11 after finding the trees to the right, then the bunker, but collapsed within a foot for a tap-in, then birdie at 12 .
He made two excellent pars on the 14th and 15th holes after hitting his approach shots through the green.
The two-time Masters finalist fell back to seven under when he bogeyed 16 but finished with two more scrambling starts, including a 10-foot putt on the last one, to keep himself in the game.
“It was a tough day, when the storm approached it was really windy,” Rose said. “When we came back it felt like there was a while to get a point, but then the greens slowed down a lot.
“There were definitely some tough times there. I had to work hard and after 12 holes I thought I was in a good spot. Hideki hit the jets and I squeezed the brakes a bit, that was the difference.
“A lot has to do with the way Hideki plays, but there is a big field waiting. We are in a good position.”