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Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm shoot 65s to move up Masters leaderboard

Rickie Fowler reacts after a birdie on the

Rickie Fowler reacts after a birdie on the eighth green during the third round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on Saturday. Credit: Getty Images / Patrick Smith

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Rickie Fowler was so good on Saturday that he put himself in position to have a round that could really mean something, if only he can play that well again. He shot a bogey-free 7-under-par 65 and put himself at least on the fringe of contention for his first major championship.

“I’m a ways back,” he said after finishing at 9 under, five behind Patrick Reed’s lead. “It’s definitely within striking distance, especially at this place, anything can happen . . . I’m definitely playing this golf course the best I have, ever, as far as how comfortable I am on each and every hole.”

Fowler, 29, has been a popular figure among fans for years and has repeatedly come close to major titles but still is looking to win one.

Jon Rahm, 23, is in a different category. He still is relatively new on tour but is off to a fast start with two PGA Tour victories. He also shot 65 Saturday, putting him at 8 under, three behind Rory McIlroy, the third player to go 7 under.

“Hopefully, I have a chance. It’s looking less and less likely by the second,” he said during his news conference as he looked up at the leader board and saw that Reed had reached 15 under (before the leader dropped a shot). “But, you know, it will be amazing to be part of it, hopefully, come Sunday.”

Phil whiffs, the goes on to eagle

Phil Mickelson (7 over) had one thing in common with each of the many everyday folks who were playing their first rounds of golf on Saturday. He swung and completely missed the ball. As he was trying to get out from under a tree branch on the first hole, his club hit the trunk and he whiffed. Seven holes later, though, he showed why he is an all-time great. He swung hard with a driver off the fairway and sent his ball within eight feet of the hold on the par 5 8th. He made the putt for an eagle.

“Every now and then, I’ll hit a shot like that and it makes it fun,” he said, looking forward to the crystal trophy that is awarded for any eagle during the Masters. “It wasn’t a total loss.”

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