Matthew Fitzpatrick takes advantage of more scorable Augusta National

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Matthew Fitzpatrick takes advantage of more scorable Augusta National

PGA Tour

Matthew Fitzpatrick takes advantage of more scorable Augusta National

AUGUSTA, Ga. – After two tough days for scoring at the 82nd Masters Tournament, Augusta National was a little more there for the taking on Saturday morning. Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick took advantage.

Fitzpatrick, playing in his fourth Masters, shot 5-under 67 to move back to even par, just nine shots back of leader Patrick Reed, who had yet to tee off when Fitzpatrick ended his third round.

“The greens were softer and I just felt I was able to get to a few more flags,” Fitzpatrick said. “You could actually stop the ball. I’ve actually driven it brilliantly all week, just couldn’t really get the irons close the first two days. … The weather (today) just made it a fraction easier.”

Fitzpatrick began his round shortly after 10 a.m. and played the first handful of holes in an on-again-off-again rain. He bogeyed the fifth hole, but that was his only blemish of the round. He made four birdies and then eagled the par-5 15th in more ideal conditions than what was initially expected for Saturday a few days ago.

“We played 12 (with the wind) just completely still,” Fitzpatrick said. “It was like perfect.”

Now, he’ll watch the lead groups this afternoon and hope the weather gets nasty. Forecasts aren’t too ominous as they call for about a 50-percent chance of thunderstorms this afternoon with winds staying around 10 mph with occasional gusts. But it will likely still be tougher than this morning.

“I’m glad that I’m finished, yeah, absolutely,” Fitzpatrick said. “I think that no one can touch the golf course now, so it’s not going to get easier, unless it really, really just poured down, which by the looks of the weather, it doesn’t look like right now. But I think that it would have been nice to have picked up two more and sit in the clubhouse at under par, you never know what then happens.

“But I’m delighted with my round and glad that I got it in this morning.”

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