AUGUSTA, Ga. - I would have to say that after watching the action on Saturday at the Masters and watching Rory McIlroy for about six holes, he will have to back up for the field to catch him.
He does not make any real bad decisions and in his post round interview he said that he sticks to his game plan. Even though he is only 21 years old this is his third Masters. He has got game and also experience. It is a perfect Masters recipe for a championship today.
The final pairing will be McIlroy and Angel Cabrera. Cabrera won the 2007 U.S. Open and the 2009 Masters. He is a grinder and a fun player to watch. He is an emotional player so it should be entertaining to watch the 41 year old and the 21 year old play together the final day.
The grouping right in front of McIlroy and Cabrera will be K.J. Choi and Charl Schwartzel. Choi has seven PGA Tour victories and numerous other wins around the world. He can flat-out play. He could post a real low score and put some heat on the leaders. Both these golfers are at eight under. Also in the hunt are Jason Day at eight under and Adam Scott at seven under. As proven Day can go low and Scott has all the tools to shoot a low score.
After watching much of the players putt at the Masters Saturday I think that will be the key to the final round. The greens are so tricky and fast that you cannot get aggressive. If you miss a green in the wrong spot it is almost impossible to get up and down. For anyone to catch young Rory he will have to have a bad day and someone will have to get crazy hot with the putter. Trust me all of the players in the Master's field can hit the shots!
The big difference is getting the ball to fall in the hole. Augusta National is also very hilly and with the expected temperature to be 90-plus on today, it will favor that younger players. Something that really caught my attention was that all of the players refer to their yardage books on almost every shot. Also all of the players have a pre-shot routine and if something throws them off they start over on their routine.
Another thing at the Masters that really is noticeable is the crowd noise. If somebody hits a real good shot the crowds let the player know it and with the closeness of the some of the holes it can be a real distraction for some players.
I tried to check out my own putter count. I think it was about 1/2 of the field used putters with inserts. About 20 percent used putter that are longer than average.
One last note - there is a real love and lots of prayers at the Masters for Seve Ballesteros. As one commentator call him the "Arnold Palmer" of Europe. Seven won the Masters twice and the British open twice and 5 more PGA tour victories and 48 European Tour victories. Seve turned 54 on April 9th and has been battling brain cancer since 2009.
Steve Kottsick is the pro at Souris Valley Golf Course. He is at the Masters and is writing a column each day.