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Senior pros in the hunt at 2013 Masters

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  • Weather:

    Mix of clouds and sun early in the day, clouds moving in later. High 77.

    Television

    2-7 p.m., CBS (WBTV, channel 3)



AUGUSTA, Ga. Fred Couples isn’t the only aging wonder at the Masters. There’s also Bernhard Langer. Plus more notes from the third round at Augusta.

Fred Couples isn’t the only aging wonder at the Masters.

There’s also Bernhard Langer, 55, who, after an even-par 72 Saturday is just five strokes out of the lead at 209 and tied for ninth with Rickie Fowler, Steve Stricker, Lee Westwood and Jim Furyk.

Langer, who won the Masters in 1993, shrugged off any idea that he or Couples, 53, are too old to contend at Augusta National.

“I didn’t say we couldn’t contend,” said Langer. “It’s very difficult to win on a long course like this. But at the same time, I say it’s going to happen that a senior player is going to win a major championship.

“Tom Watson has almost done it. Fred Couples can do it at any given moment and there’s a few of us that might do it, too. It’s going to happen.”

Notes

•  It was a long day for Phil Mickelson, who couldn’t get anything going on his way to a 5-over 77. He’s 8-over for the tournament (224).

“It (was) a beautiful day here, you cannot get a more majestic day here at the Masters,” said Mickelson. “I just played terrible.”

•  Tim Clark, who played at N.C. State, had the best round of the day, a 5-under 67, which leaves him four strokes behind the leaders at 213. Clark started the day 2 over, but five birdies moved him onto the leader board. He twice went back-to-back with birdies on Nos. 6, 7 and 13, 14. After finishing second in the season-opening Sony Open in Hawaii, Clark has struggled, including a missed cut at Bay Hill.

Clark recovered from a 76 Friday to shoot the lowest score of his 35 rounds at Augusta on Saturday.

“The worst thing I could have done (Friday) was probably go and practice and grind over it,” said Clark. “I just had to kind of let it go.”

•  A day after being penalized a stroke for slow play, Chinese teenager Guan Tianlang had birdie-less 77 (225 total). Guan, the youngest player in Masters history, has gone 36 consecutive holes without a birdie, the last one coming on the 18th hole of the first round.

Observations

•  Rory McIlroy had a 7-over 79 that took him right out of contention. Seems like that happens to him every year at the Masters.

•  After Friday’s winds, things calmed way down on Saturday. But the dry conditions are setting up greens that promise to be fast and treacherous on Sunday.

Brandt Snedeker and Jason Day were models of consistency Saturday, both opening their rounds with 12 consecutive pars. Snedeker went one way – to the lead – after that, while Day went the other way – into a tie for fourth.

•  If Tiger Woods, who was docked two strokes for an illegal drop, loses by one or two shots Sunday, there’s going to be quite the uproar. The fact that he’s still in contention – down by four strokes – is pretty amazing, given that he gave up those two shots.

By the numbers

3: Australians in the top five (Adam Scott, Marc Leishman and Jason Day). No Aussie has ever won the Masters.

85.71: Percent of fairways hit (36 of 42) by Tim Clark, best in the tournament.

300.3: Average drive distance of Thorbjorn Olesen, longest of the tournament.

Quoting

“Very boring.” – Bernhard Langer, describing his even-par round 72, which included one birdie and one bogey.

“Right, which is weird.” – Bubba Watson, when asked if he knew a television viewer called in to say Woods had made an illegal drop.

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