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Rose extends Masters lead with birdie to start third round

Andrew Both

Overnight Masters leader Justin Rose began his third round with a birdie under overcast skies on Saturday to build a two-shot lead at Augusta National where forecasted high winds and thunderstorms could disrupt play later in the day.

Rose, bidding to become the first wire-to-wire winner at the Masters since Jordan Spieth in 2015, sent his opening tee shot near the fairway bunker before sticking his approach shot to 12 feet and making birdie.

That left the 40-year Englishman, twice a Masters runner-up, two shots clear of playing competitor Will Zalatoris, former champion Jordan Spieth, world number two Justin Thomas and Canadian Corey Conners.

World number 43 Conners began the day five shots back of Rose but quickly vaulted himself into contention after covering the opening seven holes in four under, a stellar run that included a hole-in-one at the par-three sixth.

Weather forecasters predict about a 60% chance that storms will pass through the area at about 5:00 p.m. ET (2100 GMT) before clearing out within a couple of hours.

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