South Africa’s 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel played the par 5s in five under par to shoot 68 on Saturday.
Schwartzel obliterated the long holes during the third round to move from +2 to -2 and inside the top 10 on moving day.
A birdie on 2 followed an opening par and like many others before him, he gave a shot back at the difficult long par 3 fourth hole. Three successive pars followed before he got to -1 on the day on the eighth.
Schwartzel moved on from Amen Corner -1 after he made 4 on the 13th, but that was merely an appetizer for what was to come on the 15th. His eagle 3 propelled up him the leaderboard and with an outside chance of winning his second green jacket if he can replicate his scoring on Sunday.
Countryman Ernie Els had a day to forget as he signed for an 83, and went 43-40 to sit in last place after three rounds.
Els had done so well to make the cut in what many anticipated would be his last Masters appearance, but the wheels fell off on Saturday.
He opened with a bogey before dropping more shots at 3, 4 and 5, a double at 6, and another bogey at 8.
The back nine wasn’t much better as he made bogey on 12, before two consecutive doubles on 16 and 17 added salt to the wounds.
To his credit, he continued to keep at it and made a stunning long range birdie on 18 to end the day with the smallest of psychological wins.