The third round of the 2018 Masters Golf Tournament was not kind to Marc Leishman.
He started the day in the last final pairing, alongside American Patrick Reed.
Leishman did not play badly, but on a day when the trailing groups were shooting ow scores and Leishman’s playing partner Reed was chipping in from off the green for Eagles, Leishman, other than one lone bogey, could score nothing other than pars.
He finished with a 73 and lost considerable ground.
Leishman could never establish any momentum to his third round. He had multiple good opportunities for birdies, but his putts were achingly close and he could not coax a single one to drop.
All four of the Aussie contingent made the 36-hole cut.
Behind Leishman, Cameron Smith is acquitting himself nicely. He enters the final round at three under par in a tie for 12th and his 213 aggregate score is eleven shots behind Reed and considering the resumes of the players ahead of him, the best Smith can hope for is to move up a bit. Barring a colossal collapse, he is assured of a much better result than his tie for 55th in his other appearance at the Masters in 2016.
Jason Day has had a tournament to forget. His 75 in the first round sealed his fate. He has improved to get to one under par following a 69 in the third round, but his Masters is over.
Adam Scott is two over par for the tournament, so his final round will be one of casual golf and he will be finished far before the leaders make the turn for the final nine.
The marquee pairing for the final round will feature the last two out in Patrick Reed and Rory McIllroy.
McIllroy shot a blistering 65 in the third round, ignited when he chipped in for eagle three from a position to the right of the eighth green where it seemed unlikely that he could even get the ball to stay on the green.