Sure-footed Finau makes charge up Masters leaderboard

It was hard to imagine we'd ever get this Tiger Woods back at the Masters

Through five holes of Saturday's third round at the Masters, Tiger Woods was one-over and watching as the rest of the field was taking advantage of the easy scoring conditions.

Yet if the 43-year-old is to triumph on Sunday, when the leaders will begin at 9:20am local time due to the threat of thunderstorms, he will need to overcome Molinari, the man who lifted the Claret Jug when the two were paired together in the final round of last year's Open. Canadian Corey Conners enters Round 3 at 3-under par.

Woods underwent career-saving spine fusion surgery in 2017 and sealed an impressive comeback season last year with his first win for five years. Woods returned to miss the putt, and then took three shots from 35 feet behind the par-5 13th green to lose another prime birdie opportunity.

McIlroy got his round under way with a flawless drive and an approach to 25 feet but left his birdie putt inches short and then strangely opted to hit a three wood off the tee on the par-five second.

"I was happy to post the number I did, but more than anything, just keep my foot on the gas pedal and not let off, " Finau said.

As for Francesco Molinari, who was 14 that spring, he's not even sure he stayed up until the wee hours of the morning in Italy to watch a golf hero in his country, Costantino Rocca, get smoked by 15 shots in Woods' record-setting win. "Going into today, I felt calm and comfortable, and I think my score showed that".

Woods finished tied for sixth at The Open, where Molinari won, and was second at the PGA Championship, where Koepka won his third major.

Finau, Woods and Brooks Koepka are all three shots back. "When you play in front of a lot of people, things happen".

Woods is seeking to secure his 15th major title, nearly 11 years after his last such success at the 2008 U.S. Open.

He saved par superbly from a greenside bunker on the 18th, just when it looked like he might give a shot back. All of them made par on the first hole. "This is now three straight majors that I've been in the mix and so it's good stuff", Woods said. "I misread a couple of them and hit one bad one there at six, but other than that it was a solid day".

That hole not only salvaged his round but could go a long way to determining if he is to slip into a Green Jacket after Sunday's final round, which is starting a 7:30 a.m. ET (1130 GMT).

Day's countryman Adam Scott, the 2013 Masters victor, sits at six under having made double-bogey at the par-4 fourth, as well as two bogeys and two birdies, to be one over for the round. And that's exactly the kind of demeanor that's going to serve him well on Sunday, where he'll be playing a road game against the legions of patrons pulling for Tiger.

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