Scottie Scheffler is relishing ‘fight’ with Cameron Smith at 86th Masters

The American had to settle for a three-stroke advantage as Smith produced the lowest round of the day – a 68 – in testing conditions.
Scottie Scheffler is relishing ‘fight’ with Cameron Smith at 86th Masters

By Phil Casey, PA Golf Correspondent, Augusta

World number Scottie Scheffler said he was relishing a “fight” with nearest rival Cameron Smith as he closed in on a first major title in the 86th Masters.

Scheffler was six shots clear of the field after eight holes of the third round at Augusta National, but eventually had to settle for a three-stroke advantage as the Australian produced the lowest round of the day – a 68 – in testing conditions.

“It should be a great fight,” Scheffler said after his 71. “Obviously Cam is a tremendous player, he’s got a fantastic short game and he’s coming off a huge win at The Players (Championship).

“Both of us are in good form so I’m definitely looking forward to the challenge of playing with him. For me, being in this position, it’s nice to be in control of the golf tournament.

“And all I’m trying to do out there is be committed to my shots and execute, and after that it’s not really up to me.”

The American heads into the final round on nine under par, with Smith on six under and South Korea’s Sungjae Im two shots further back. Ireland’s Shane Lowry and 2011 champion Charl Schwartzel share fourth place on two under.

Shot of the day

Former champion Charl Schwartzel holed out from 136 yards for an eagle on the 10th.

Quote of the day

Tiger Woods does not mince his words after struggling badly on the greens in his 78.

Tweet of the day

Kevin Na’s unfortunate five-putt on the 16th is analysed in detail.

Round of the day

Smith was the only player to break 70 on day three.

Statistic of the day

The omens look good for Scheffler fans.

Easiest hole

The par-five second played as the easiest hole, giving up one eagle, 29 birdies and just three bogeys for a scoring average of 4.462.

Toughest hole

The 18th was the most challenging and just two players made birdie, with leader Scheffler one of 19 to make bogey as the par-four played to an average of 4.558.

Weather forecast

Skies will quickly clear on Saturday evening with a decreasing breeze, setting the stage for a chilly night. After a cold start on Sunday morning, sunny skies will help temperatures warm into the low 70s during the afternoon with a lighter breeze.

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