Welcome to Sunday at the Masters. This is the day marked on so many golfer’s calendars every year. It’s our Super Bowl Sunday. It’s our Kentucky Derby or Wimbledon. Nothing beats Masters Sunday.
We should be in store for an entertaining Sunday, given our final pairing of Patrick Reed and Rory McIlroy. Reed’s magnificent play has given few others behind him a chance for a green jacket in 2018. Though Rickie Fowler and Jon Rahm both matched Rory McIlroy’s bogey-free rounds of 65 on Saturday, they sit five and six back, respectively. They’ll certainly have a chance if Reed and McIlroy falter, but the odds of the winner coming from the groups behind them is very unlikely.
Reed and McIlroy have both looked like men on a mission this week—Reed threatens to become the first golfer in Masters history to shoot four rounds in the 60s. Remarkable, considering all the legends who have had fine weeks at Augusta National, none of them had four straight rounds in the 60s. And McIlroy finds himself in the final group on Sunday at the Masters for the first time since his collapse on Sunday in 2011, where he shot a final-round 80 after holding a four-stroke lead after Saturday. The four-time major champion would become just the sixth golfer in history to complete the career Grand Slam (Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods).
As you might’ve heard, the Masters really doesn’t start until the back nine on Sunday. Well, that’s not entirely true: We’re going to get you ready for all the action that happens before the leaders get to the back nine.
Masters 2018: Sunday Live Blog:
2:30 p.m.: Webb Simpson has tapped in for his two-putt birdie at the 13th hole. Webb had bogeyed the par-3 12th hole, but the birdie at 13 brings the former Wake Forest golfer back to 3-under for the tournament. Low numbers, they are out there.
2:27 p.m.: A birdie-birdie start for Jordan Spieth has the 2015 Masters champion to 7-under. That’s quite the difference from his Friday start, when he went double bogey-bogey to start as the leader.
2:09 p.m.: Jordan Spieth has started his day with a birdie, rolling in a seven-footer on the first hole to get to 6-under. Can he go low today and put up a number that scares the leaders? Reed and Rory would have to come back to earth—and Spieth would have to go super low.
Also, what’s the over/under on the number of times we hear that Spieth and his buddy Justin Thomas are good friends? We can count two already in the first 10 minutes of the broadcast. If they continue to play well, it might be quite a few.
2:04 p.m.: Tiger’s eagle didn’t scare the hole, but he does have an easy birdie. The 14-time major champ is now 1-under on the day.
In case you didn’t see, Phil Mickelson put up the low round of the day so far with a 5-under 67. His attention will no doubt shift to the U.S. Open at Shinnecock, where he has a chance to complete the career Grand Slam. Of course, there are quite a few events to play before that—he’ll play the Players and surely the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow, where he often plays. But the five-time major champion will definitely have Shinny in mind over the next couple of months.
1:59 p.m.: Tiger has hit a fabulous shot into the 13rd green, from just 182 yards out—to about 18 feet for eagle. Tiger could earn some crystal on a week in which he hasn’t put up many low numbers at Augusta National.
Meanwhile, Webb Simpson has birdied the 10th hole and continues to keep moving up the scoreboard. He’s 6-under on his round, and up to 3-under for the tournament. Webb’s pulling a Matt Kuchar for the back-door top 10…
1:50 p.m.: Tiger has gone par-par as he is two-thirds of the way through Amen Corner—two rather stressful two-putt pars. The four-time Masters champion is still even for the day, now through 12.
1:46 p.m.: According to Golf Channel’s Justin Ray, Webb Simpson’s back-to-back eagles marks just the fourth time ever a player has done that in Masters history. Wow … Webb has made the turn in 5-under 31, and is now 2-under for the tournament.
If nothing else, Webb has shown us that low numbers are possible here.
1:39 p.m.: Tiger’s approach at the 10th was a good one, but he walks away with a par. At No. 11, he’s on in regulation again, but he’s got 42 feet left for birdie.
Meanwhile, Webb Simpson just made another eagle at the par-5 eighth. Back-to-back eagles for the 2012 U.S. Open champion and he’s now -5 for the day, -2 for the tournament.
1:19 p.m.: Another huge drive at the ninth leaves Tiger a wedge in, and he spins it off the front of the green. Even after hitting a chip tight, he misses the par putt. Woods turns in even par 36 with three birdies, three bogeys and a bunch of missed opportunities.
For the third straight day, Hideki Matsuyama bogeys the par-3 fourth and falls back to -1.
Webb Simpson’s eagle at the par-4 seventh puts him at -3 on the day, even for the tournament. Let’s hope there’s video soon, because we’d have to guess Simpson funneled his ball back to the traditional Sunday pin location. Always an exciting hole in the final round of the Masters.
1:07 p.m.: After crushing a drive at No. 8, Tiger just misses the green on his approach and then clips one perfectly, leaving a five footer for birdie, which he made. Woods is back to one under on the day, three over for the tournament. Not to exaggerate, but he should be -6, -7 or even -8. Ok, maybe that’s a little aggressive.
The best round on the course belongs to Vijay Singh and Brian Harman, with both guys at three under on the day. Singh is +5 for the week, while Harman is at +4.
First guy to get into red figures is Hideki Matsuyama, who has birdied to of his first three holes to get to -2 for the week. After leaving the Waste Management Phoenix Open with an injury, Matsuyama has become the forgotten man in to top 10 of the world ranking, but he’s quietly put together a solid week. Good to see him back and healthy.
12:47 p.m.: From four feet away, Tiger three-putts for bogey. Ouch.
12:40 p.m.: Tiger grinds out his par at No. 6, chipping to eight feet and holing the putt. Love to see the fight from Woods despite being 17 shots back. No doubt he’s still trying to “post a number.”
At the 7th, he smokes a driver down the right side and gets blocked out by a few branches on his approach. So he plays a huge cut and he plays it perfectly, hitting the green and spinning toward the hole. Short birdie look coming up. What a shot.
12:26 p.m.: Routine par for Tiger at the fifth, a hole he played three over for the week. At No. 6, he misses the green well right and will have a testy chip to try and get close. His playing partner, Rafa Cabrera Bello, sticks one close, and he’ll have a birdie putt to get to one under on the day, two over for the tournament.
No one on the course has been able to get into red figures, but Zach Johnson is getting closer, having birdied the second and third holes to get back to even par for the week. Strong start for the 2007 Masters champion.
12:09 p.m.: Despite his shot rolling out to around 10 feet, Tiger still makes the downhill slider for birdie to get back to one under on the round, three over for the tournament. And to think he should have birdied one, nearly eagled two, and almost aced the fourth. Seems like he’s dialed in.
12:03 p.m.: After dropping a shot at the par-4 third, Tiger hits the hole at the par-3 fourth with his tee shot, but it doesn’t go for an ace. Unbelievable. Can the guy catch one break!?
11:55 a.m.: Right after his incredible pitch shot at the second, Tiger follows with a straight-up chunk on his second at No. 3. On his third, he barely gets it on the green and will have 13 feet left for par. Mickelson three-putted for bogey at No. 8. All of the morning Masters energy just vanished. Final groups can’t tee off soon enough.
11:51 a.m.: Tiger takes driver at the third and it just rolls off the fairway down the left side. Meanwhile, Phil Mickelson has made three straight pars following his birdie run, and now has a 23-footer coming up for birdie at the eighth.
11:46 a.m.: Wow. Tiger plays the shot of the week (for him), going high up over the bunker and spinning the ball back to the hole and nearly jarring it for eagle. It’s impossible to believe, but this is his first birdie of the week at the par-5 second, and just his fourth birdie on a par 5 all week.
11:39 a.m.: Tiger’s drive at No. 2 finds the pine straw down the left side and he punches out his second all the way up near the green. Tough chip coming up though, with the front greenside bunker in front of him and the traditional tucked pin location on the right side of the green.
11:22 a.m.: Tiger hammers his birdie putt and it lips out. It’s just not his week.
11:18 a.m.: For the third straight day Tiger pipes one that goes bounding down the first fairway, leaving him a wedge in. And finally, he hits the green! Friday and Saturday Woods’ approaches at No. 1 came up well short, but this time he sticks one to five feet. We’ll see if he can capitalize and get this final round going in the right direction.
11:10 a.m.: We’re moments away from Tiger Woods getting his final round underway. He won’t win, but it’s good to see him back in the red and black on Sunday at Augusta.
There’s only a few guys out on the course, but a familiar name is providing some early round excitement. Check out the card of Phil Mickelson:
Three under through four holes to move to four over par. Could have used that start yesterday.
10:41 a.m.: Is there actually a legitimate shot that one of the players not named Patrick Reed earns a green jacket on Sunday? Yes, the chances are probably better than you think, writes our Joell Beall. Mike looks at how many comebacks we actually see on Sundays at Augusta National.
10:22 a.m.: You’ll hear “career Grand Slam” quite a bit in the coverage today, with one of the biggest storylines being Rory McIlroy going for the monumental achievement. How about this great stat from the PGA Tour’s Sean Martin, with a great tidbit on a potential correlation between Gene Sarazen and Rory.
10 a.m.: The final round is officially underway. Vijay Singh, playing with Augusta National member and famous marker Jeff Knox, are the pace setters out there. Vijay was reportedly seen smiling before he and Knox teed off No. 1, a rare sight for the business-like Singh, the 2000 Masters champion.
We’ll see if Vijay gets a similar treatment to Paul Casey yesterday—being asked more about Knox’s round than his own.
Vijay has parred No. 1, so we’re off to the races here.
Here are the rest of this morning’s tee times.
10:10 a.m. — Ian Poulter, Brian Harman
10:20 a.m. — Chez Reavie, Phil Mickelson
10:30 a.m. — Tyrrell Hatton, Doug Ghim (a)
10:40 a.m. — Martin Kaymer, Kyle Stanley
10:50 a.m. — Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Xander Schauffele
11 a.m. — Bryson DeChambeau, Branden Grace
11:10 a.m. — Rafa Cabrera Bello, Tiger Woods
11:20 a.m. — Bernhard Langer, Fred Couples
11:40 a.m. — Zach Johnson, Webb Simpson
11:50 a.m. — Ryan Moore, Jhonattan Vegas
12 p.m. — Adam Scott, Daniel Berger
12:10 p.m. — Haotong Li, Paul Casey
12:20 p.m. — Adam Hadwin, Hideki Matsuyama
12:30 p.m. — Satoshi Kodaira, Russell Henley
12:40 p.m. — Kevin Kisner, Francesco Molinari
12:50 p.m. — Matthew Fitzpatrick, Si Woo Kim
1 p.m. — Charley Hoffman, Tony Finau
1:20 p.m. — Jimmy Walker, Matt Kuchar
1:30 p.m. — Jason Day, Bernd Wiesberger
1:40 p.m. — Justin Rose, Louis Oosthuizen
1:50 p.m. — Dustin Johnson, Cameron Smith
2 p.m. — Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth
2:10 p.m. — Bubba Watson, Marc Leishman
2:20 p.m. — Henrik Stenson, Tommy Fleetwood
2:30 p.m. — Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm
2:40 p.m. — Patrick Reed, Rory McIlroy
9:49 a.m.: Here are the hole locations for Sunday’s final round—with many traditional pins that you’ve been accustomed to for years:
This is a neat little video Augusta National put together, based on the legendary voice of Chris Schenkel, whom you’ll recognize from sports telecasts throughout the years. The Masters added video from Sunday in 2018 to Schenkel’s commentary from the 50s. Pretty cool: