It was a tough day at the office for Marc Leishman.
It was a tough day at the office for Marc Leishman.

Putts don’t drop as Leishman hopes fade

AMERICAN Patrick Reed seized a three-stroke lead after the third round of the Masters, firing a five-under par 67 at rain-softened Augusta National.

Reed, ranked 24th, eagled the par-5 13th and 15th holes to reach 15-under and lead by five, but gave back a bogey at the par-3 16th, missing a 7-foot par putt.

The world number 24 responded by sinking a clutch 9-foot par putt at 17 and parring 18, where he missed a 10-foot birdie chance.

Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, seeking a career Grand Slam with a Masters triumph, sank birdie putts from 16 feet at 15 and 17 feet at 18 in a seven-under par 65 to stand second on 11-under 205 through 54 holes.

Matching McIlroy for the week's low round were American Rickie Fowler, who was third on 207, and Spaniard Jon Rahm, who was fourth on 208, one stroke ahead of Sweden's Henrik Stenson.

Two-time Masters winner Bubba Watson, England's Tommy Fleetwood and Aussie Marc Leishman shared sixth on 210.

McIlroy eagled the par-5 eighth to match Reed briefly for the lead at 9-under, but that lit a fire under Reed, who birdied the eighth, ninth and 10th holes to surge ahead alone again.