It was a moving day to forget the last time Jason Day and Adam Scott teed it up at the Masters.
Australia’s two most recent world no.1s and major winners sat tied for the lead through 36 holes of the 2019 Masters, set to pounce.
Conditions for the third round were extremely favourable for scoring and birdies from the contenders were filling the leaderboard.
All contenders bar two. The Australians.
For the first time in Masters history three players put up eight-under 64s on the same day and more than half the field was under par for their round.
Of the top 20 players in contention, only Day and Scott failed to get under par.
Scott, the 2013 champion, shot an even-par 72 while Day battled to a one-over 73, leaving them a distant six and seven shots off the pace.
For Scott, it was a slow bleed of missed chances and a weak finish with bogeys on the 16th and 18th holes.
“It was a bit of a letdown because I was obviously right there,” Scott recalled.
“I wouldn’t have had to do much or have an amazing weekend to be right in there but struggled a little bit on the greens.
“Every time you come here you want to do a bit better if you haven’t won. This is certainly a place I have some level of comfort with and I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t be able to put myself in a similar position this time around.”
Day had seemingly rebounded from a slow start with birdies on the 12th and 14th holes. But he dumped his third shot on the par-five 15th into the pond and made a costly double bogey.
That mistake burned even more after a final-round 67 saw him briefly get within one of the lead before ultimately settling in a tie for fifth, two shots behind Tiger Woods’ winning total.
“That double was a killer for sure,” Day said. “I had turned a tough day around and felt I could make a run if I made birdie.
“So I was a little aggressive trying to get under the hole and I just didn’t quite get it up enough and had to watch it spin back into the water.
“I learned a lot from that. Sometimes you don’t need to make the aggressive play. I could’ve just taken water out of play, had a birdie try but settled for par, and then would’ve been in striking distance on Sunday.
“I’ve got a good game plan in mind this week and if I can execute it I hope to be in with another chance to prove I’ve learned from it all.”
WHEN THE AUSSIES TEE OFF IN FIRST ROUND AT AUGUSTA NATIONAL ON THURSDAY (ALL TIMES AEST)
11.11pm: Marc Leishman
11.22pm: Lukas Michel
11.55pm: Jason Day
3.38am Friday: Adam Scott, Cameron Smith