Tiger Woods smiles as he walks off of the 18th green during the third round of the Masters golf tournament on Saturday, April 13, 2019, in Augusta, Ga. (Associated Press)
AUGUSTA, Ga. – Breakfast at the Masters can not come soon enough.
So prepare the pepper cheese sandwiches and the coffee. Do not forget something for all the heartburn and all the pain.
The meteorologist says that a great storm is coming. In the 83rd Masters, a perfect storm is already brewing.
Tiger Woods is on the prowl. Four great champions are five shots from the lead. And none of that seems to bother leader Francesco Molinari.
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The third round was so fun that alarms throughout the United States will be activated early Sunday, especially in the west, because it would not surprise a golf enthusiast who sleeps for it.
No, it's not the Masters that nobody expected. But they could be the Masters that everyone remembers.
"The reward for playing hard and doing everything correctly is that you can get some sleep next Sunday, but that will not be the case," Woods said. "We have to get up early and look for it."
"The reward for playing hard and doing all things correctly (you) can sleep well next Sunday, but that will not be the case, we have to get up early and look for it."
– Tiger Woods
Blame the weather for the Masters officials who move the start times almost six hours and put the players in trios with two tees on Sunday morning in a race against the coming storms. The decision is unprecedented in Masters history, but it is probably prudent due to the ominous forecast of wind and heavy storms on Sunday afternoon.
But blame Woods, if necessary, for presenting the kind of show everyone will be willing to see. He thrilled the crowd with a 67 in the third badault while roars echoed in the last nine, and will be launched in the last group two shots behind Molinari.
"With Tiger, you do not even have to look at the leaderboard," Molinari said. "You hear what's going on a lot."
"With Tiger, you do not even have to look at the leaderboard, you hear what's going on."
– Francesco Molinari
Woods never won a major, and he won 14 of them, coming from behind to start the final round. And Molinari stared at him in the final round to win the British Open last year, so he is not likely to be easily intimidated.
Nor Tony Finau, the third member of the group. Finau does not have the pedigree of his playmates, but he has observed Woods and his iron determination since he was young and learned from it.
"I think there's always a Tiger effect because it's Tigre," said Finau, who fired from 8 to 64. "But it's a different era, and it's playing against a different generation."
Still, with the course to take and the trios with two different tees, the chaos could occur in a wild race until the green end.
It could be anyone's green jacket, from almost anywhere on the leaderboard. Release the pedal for a moment, and five boys can run further.
"My plan for tomorrow is to go out and do the same," Molinari said. "But I think there are going to be some guys who try to ruin my plan."
Saturday was entertaining even before the pack of leaders said goodbye on a hot afternoon. Phil Mickelson made sure of that by making a video while driving on Magnolia Lane exposing his game plan for the day.
"Dress in black, be aggressive and hit bombs," said Mickelson. "That's what I'm going to do today, hit the bombs and attack the pbader."
Unfortunately for Mickelson, many other players had the same idea, except for the use of the black part. Attack was the key word of the day, as the players went after a golf course without some of their best defenses against the rains that softened it.
Three players shot 8-under 64, a shot off the course record and a self-registration that can last a long time. Finau was 6 years younger in the first nine places alone, on the way to his 64.
It is no wonder that Ian Poulter could barely contain his smile when asked if his mentality was to be aggressive in the final round.
"No, I'm going to try to patch every hole," said Poulter.
The fact that Augusta National is as easy to handle on Sunday as it was in the third round depends to a large extent on the amount of wind that the morning does. But nobody planned to go to bed on Saturday night with dreams of shooting even at par.
Woods says he will get up in the dark at 3:45 a.m. He needs a lot of time to prepare, even without stopping at the Waffle House.
Others who do not need to stretch so much will sleep a little later.
"I'm not going to train this week, so I do not have anything better to do in the morning," said Brooks Koepka.
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Much of America can say the same. They will get up early, watch their eggs and coffee or check their phones during church services to see if Woods can stay in the mix.
He can not break his path. It may end up causing a lot of indigestion.
But breakfast at the Masters will be a must.