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Masters -- Round 3 Review

At the Top: What a difference a day makes. Sweden's Peter Hanson improved by nine shots from Friday to Saturday, and his third-round 65 has him alone on top by a stroke.

Lurking: Three major winners populated the top six: four-time winner Phil Mickelson, two-time champ Padraig Harrington and one-timer Louis Oosthuizen.

In Defense: Charl Schwartzel shot his second straight 75 for a 54-hole total of 222. He'll finish early today and hang around to drape the green jacket on somebody else's shoulders.

Tiger Pause: He's hooking too many tee shots (including his 3-wood). He's fanning too many irons. He has one birdie on the par-5s this week. Given the same game to work with not many of his peers would have made the cut.

Major Downer: It looked like a variation last year's final round when Rory McIlroy doubled the opening hole and doubled the seventh and made the turn in 42.

No Gimme?: Lee Westwood fell three shots back at No. 9 when he rolled a 1-foot par putt around the cup and out.

What's the Point?: The system says Luke Donald's the world's top-ranked player. Does anybody really believe that? How do you get there without winning a major? He hasn't been a factor here since bogeying the opening hole Thursday.

Nice While it Lasted: Fred Couples played his 107th Masters round Saturday and surely sized up a few shots and thought "I've never been here before." He shot 75.

Four!: Justin Rose had two three-putts all week until he four-jacked the 16th green to slip from two back to four back. Then he bogeyed 18 for his third straight 72.

Remember Me? Two-time British Open winner Harrington rolled in birdies on five of the last six holes and matched his career-best Masters round with a 68.

Ouch: Gary Woodland withdrew with a wrist injury following a third-round 85. That increases to four the number of injury-related casualties this year. Dustin Johnson, Mark O'Meara and Jason Day were the others.

Count on It: Sergio Garcia maintained his record of shooting 75 or higher in every Masters appearance.

Quotable

Tiger Woods: "I was so close to putting it together today. I unfortunately did not play the par 5s very well today, and it was I'm telling you it was so close to being a really good round of golf. I just didn't take care of the opportunities when I had them." Huh?

Padraig Harrington: "I'm trying to play down my own expectations, so I'm not worried about other people's expectations of me."

Peter Hanson on Sunday: "This is going to be the biggest thing."

-- Bob DiCesare

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About Sports, Ink

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has served in a variety of roles in Buffalo sports in the past 35 years, including reporter, talk-show host, baseball announcer, public relations staffer and author. He covers the Bandits and running for The News when not working as an editor.

@WDX2BB | bbailey@buffnews.com

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