AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — 1:35 p.m.
Rickie Fowler surged up the leaderboard at the Masters on Saturday.
Fowler made five birdies on the first 11 holes, pushing his score to 4 under for the tournament, taking advantage of the conditions. The overnight rain that came through Augusta softened up the already birdie-friendly greens.
Of course, that still left him a daunting 10 strokes behind the leader, Jordan Spieth.
Fowler is used to contending at majors, though he has yet to win one. In 2014, he joined Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only golfers to finish in the top five of the Masters, the U.S. Open, the British Open and the PGA Championship in a single year.
Rory McIlroy also got off to a strong start, making an eagle at No. 2. He joined Fowler at 4 under overall.
After a stormy night, the sun broke through Saturday at Augusta National.
Steve Stricker was the first to tee off in the third round. Since an odd number of players made the cut, he's playing with a marker — club member Jeff Knox, who's a pretty good player in his own right. Knox holds the club record for members with a 61 and last year, filling the same role, beat playing partner Rory McIlroy — the world's top-ranked golfer — by one stroke.
A splash of overnight rain kept the greens soft, which should allow players to keep attacking the pins like they did the first two days. No one performed better than Jordan Spieth, who has a five-stroke lead after breaking the Masters record for lowest 36-hole score with a 14-under 130.
He'll tee off with Charley Hoffman in the final group at 2:55 p.m. EDT. All but six players are at least 10 strokes behind Spieth, including McIlroy and Tiger Woods.
Among those with early tee times, Bae Sang-moon of South Korea and Henrik Stenson of Sweden were both at 3 under for the round, taking advantage of the soft conditions. In fact, 14 of the 25 players on the course are at par or better in the early going, though things are likely to toughen up through the afternoon — especially if the wind picks up.