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Masters' Final Round Promises Thrills

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Masters' Final Round Promises Thrills

Masters' Final Round Promises Thrills

Masters' Final Round Promises Thrills

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/125829390/125829366" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Lee Westwood and Phil Mickelson are tied for first place going into Sunday's final round of the Masters golf tournament after an exciting day on the green Saturday. The third round was filled with ups, downs and a few amazing shots.

M: From Augusta, NPR's Tom Goldman reports.

TOM GOLDMAN: Indeed, the man nicknamed Lefty, Phil Mickelson, had eagled number 13 and kicked Saturday into overdrive. He was now just three shots behind Westwood. Two under par eagles are a big deal. Two in a row? Golfers had done that only twice in Masters history - until yesterday.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

GOLDMAN: They were still buzzing around the 14th green, just minutes after Mickelson hit his second shot from the 14th fairway into the cup for back-to- back eagles. Now, 11-under, one behind Westwood, and on he went to the par-five 15th where he chipped his third shot over water, onto the green and - come on, you cannot be serious.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

GOLDMAN: No, it wasn't a third eagle in a row, but oh, so close.

PHIL MICKELSON: It went across the hole from my viewpoint but it was about eight inches behind it. But as it was crossing the hole, I was expecting it to disappear, yeah.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

GOLDMAN: Alas, only a one-under-par birdie, but enough to pull Mickelson into a tie with Westwood. For Mickelson, incredible momentum. For Westwood, a five- shot lead gone - poof - the kind of thing that can shatter a golfer's confidence. But not Westwood's.

LEE WESTWOOD: 'Cause what Phil Mickelson does is really out of my control. The only thing that I can control, as I've said all week, is what I do, where I hit it.

GOLDMAN: Westwood, in a bubble of solitude and concentration during the round, said he had no room for thinking about what somebody else was doing. Just the opposite with Mickelson.

MICKELSON: I do look at the leaderboard quite a bit to see who's doing what. I think it's fun. You see the roars and you try to figure out who did what and the leaderboard tells you.

GOLDMAN: Yesterday's leaderboard told the tale of lots of up and down performances, a function, Mickelson said, of the warm weather and what he called receptive greens, prompting a lot of players to take risks, like he did on 13 when he hit a long shot to the green instead of playing it safe. And Mickelson predicted more of the same today.

MICKELSON: I think the course is going to be set up similarly in that you can make some birdies and challenge some pins. I think it's going to be an exciting Sunday.

GOLDMAN: Tom Goldman, NPR News, Augusta.

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