Scottie Scheffler chips to the green on the eighth hole...

Scottie Scheffler chips to the green on the eighth hole during third round at the Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club Saturday, April 13, 2024, in Augusta, Ga.  Credit: David J. Phillip

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Scottie Scheffler made one last birdie and let out one big exhale Saturday on a wild day at the Masters, giving him a 1-under 71 and a one-shot lead over two-time major champion Collin Morikawa.

Scheffler began his round by chipping in for birdie from across the first green. He finished with an 8-foot birdie putt that caught just enough of the right side of the cup.

Everything in between was bonkers, right to the very end. Six players had at least a tie for the lead at one point. And Scheffler didn’t escape the craziness.

He reached 8 under for the tournament with a 30-foot birdie putt on the third hole and was still seemingly in control until his approach to the 10th took a hard hop over the green and into the bushes. He looked to escape with bogey until missing a 30-inch putt. Then, he hit an average chip and missed an 8-foot par putt on the 11th.

“All of a sudden I’m probably going from in the lead to a few out of the lead and then . . . you know, things happen pretty fast out there,” Scheffler said.

He saved par on the 12th with a 7-foot putt — as important as any he made — and showed rare emotion when he holed a 30-foot eagle putt on the 13th.

“C’mon, baby!” he yelled when the putt dropped.

“Things got a little dicey in the middle,” Scheffler said. “On No. 10, I hit what I thought was a decent shot 8 feet from the hole and it wound up in the bushes. I did a good job of staying patient.”

Augusta National didn’t need a ferocious wind to be wildly entertaining. The course was tough as ever, with a wind that would have felt scary if not for the day before.

Scheffler is at 7-under 209 as he goes for a second Masters green jacket and tries to extend a dominant stretch that includes two wins on tough courses and a runner-up finish in his last three tournaments.

“It’s nice to have that experience, but going into [Sunday], that’s really all that it is,” he said. “And I can reflect on some of that stuff from that round, and this is a position I’m very familiar with. I’m excited for the challenge of going and trying to win the golf tournament.”

Morikawa made two tough pars to finish off a 69, making him the only player to break par all three days at this Masters. Not bad for a someone who only found a swing key on Monday, switched putters after the first round and has had a top 10 since the first week of the year.

“If you asked me at the beginning of the week I’d be one back heading into Sunday, I would have taken that any time,” Morikawa said. “You give yourself a chance with 18 holes left, that’s all you can really do.”

Another shot back was Max Homa (73), whose last birdie was on the fourth hole of the second round. He has made 32 pars in his last 36 holes and is only two behind Scheffler. Xander Schauffele, who has gone 25 holes without a bogey, is five back.

Bryson DeChambeau drove into the right trees on the 18th, pitched out to the fairway and then holed out from 77 yards for a most unlikely birdie that might have salvaged his chances.

Ludvig Aberg, the rising Swedish star playing in his first major, was among those who had a brief share of the lead until missing a pair of short par putts on the back nine. He still managed a 70 and was only three shots behind.

Eight players are separated by five shots going into the final round, where the greens are likely to be even faster, crispier and more frightening.

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