The Masters: Spieth remains top as the leaderboard is changed

Jordan Spieth is the only player to have maintained a top five position on the leaderboard after all three rounds.

The Masters: Spieth remains top as the leaderboard is changed
Can Jordan Spieth hold on to win consecutive Masters titles? (photo: SportsCenter)

Another day, another round and we are still no closer to a definite 2016 Masters champion as swirling winds and difficult pins caused havoc once more.

McIlroy blown away

All eyes were on the final grouping on the course that included reigning champion Jordan Spieth and closest rival Rory McIlroy, in what looked to be a two-horse race on Grand National day.

McIlroy had adapted well on his first two rounds in difficult weather conditions, but day three was to bring with it a different outcome as the world number three endured a terrible 18 holes.

The man from Northern Ireland did not shoot one birdie in the entire round, the first time that has happened to McIlroy at a major for six years. At one point he found himself eight shots behind Spieth, as his career slam hopes began to blow away for another year.

If anyone deserves the green jacket this year it must be Jordan Spieth, the only man who has consistently performed in a week of testing conditions. The American leads by one going into the final round but will be disappointed that the gap is not larger, after dropping three shots on the last two holes to be reigned in from six under to three under par.

The chasing pack was all change once more as Masters debutant Smylie Kaufman produced the round of the day with a 69 to come from nowhere to go just one shot behind the leader. Kaufman endured just one bogey, as only five men shot a round in red figures.

History in the making?

The story of the day arguably belonged to 58 year old Bernhard Langer. An excellent round of 70, including three consecutive birdies at 13, 14 and 15 for the second time this week, left the veteran just two shots off the lead. If Langer was to complete the fairytale story, he would be at least ten years older than any other previous major champion.

World number one Jason Day has been consistent if not explosive this week, as scores of 72, 73 and 71 leave him without an outside shot of winning the green jacket. New father Danny Willet and Dustin Johnson can boast similar figures, as all three are even par overnight, three shots off the lead.

Japan's Hideki Matsuyama sneaked onto the leaderboard during the second round and he is there again after an even par round kept him at one under. Though two late bogeys prevented him from sharing the lead overnight.

The leaderboard going into an exciting finale reads as follows:

1. Jordan Spieth (-3)
2. Smylie Kaufman (-2)
3= Bernhard Langer (-3)
3= Hideki Matsuyama (-1)
5= Ryan Day (E)
5= Dustin Johnson (E)
5= Danny Willet (E)