Early fireworks in Round 3 of the Masters

Bill Haas hits an approach shot during the third round of the Masters.

AUGUSTA, Ga. - I hope you have a comfortable seat on the couch. If the play of the leaders in their first 30 minutes of action Saturday at the Masters is any indication, we’re in for a fantastic day.

Here’s what I saw in 45 minutes while standing next to the first green:

  • Bill Haas sticks his approach on the first hole to 3 inches. Birdie. He moves to 3 under.
  • Tom Watson delicately maneuvers a 60-foot putt to within 4 feet of the hole, then trickles in his par putt to say at 3 under.
  • Fred Couples hits a moon ball into the green, the ball skids to a stop 3 feet left of the hole. Birdie. He moves to 4 under.
  • Anthony Kim slices his tee ball right, then hits a tree trying to punch back to the fairway. Bogey. He falls back to 5 under.
  • Playing alongside Kim, Ricky Barnes takes three putts from 50 feet. Bogey. He also falls back to 5 under.
  • Tiger Woods plays his approach 18 feet below the hole, then strokes a putt that hangs on the lip of the cup for a beat before falling in. The patrons erupt and Woods punctuates the birdie with a fist pump. He moves to 7 under.

As soon as I arrived in the Press Building, Lee Westwood has birdied No. 1 to move to 9 under and Phil Mickelson birdied Nos. 2-3 to get to 8 under.

It’s getting exciting at Augusta National. Enjoy that seat on the couch.

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