Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy paired in final round of 2015 Masters
For the second straight year, Jordan Spieth is set to tee off in the final group on Sunday at the Masters. He came up just short last year, finishing second, but will open the final round this year with a four-stroke lead. While Spieth will surely be the focus of the final round, he's only one of a handful of big names set to play in the final groups. Two groups before Spieth tees off, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy will go off together surrounded by some of the largest galleries you'll ever see at Augusta.
Woods and McIlroy starred in a Nike ad prior to the start of the tournament and the two will now play 18 side-by-side in the final round of a major. Both played very well on Saturday, using 4-under rounds of 68 to move up the leaderboard. The two will start the final round tied for fifth place and in the third-to-last group, but are a whopping 10 strokes behind Spieth. If Woods and McIlroy are going to seriously threaten the leader, they will need to get off to quick starts. Woods said his goal is to shoot in the 31 range on the front nine on Sunday just to have a chance to get into the discussion. Spieth struggled some down the stretch, including a late double bogey, so it's not out of the question that he could come back toward the group a bit.
Many expected McIlroy to be in one of the late pairings on Sunday at Augusta, but his pairing with Woods is a surprise to most. Woods has well surpassed the expectations everyone (except maybe himself) had for him coming into the tournament, when it was a question of whether he would even make the cut. Instead, Tiger appears to be over the issues that plagued him early in the season and forced a two-month absence to fix his game. While the Nike ad McIlroy and Woods starred in was about passing the torch, it appears Woods may not be ready to hand it off just yet.
Woods and McIlroy making early surges to put some pressure on Spieth would make for must-see television on Sunday afternoon. They won't be the only big names chasing, however, with major champion Justin Rose joining Spieth in the final pairing. Phil Mickelson will begin the final round at 11-under, five strokes back. He nearly joined Spieth in the last group, but will instead tee off in the penultimate pairing.
27 may 2018