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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 April, 2004, 22:57 GMT 23:57 UK
American duo lead Masters
AUGUSTA LEADERBOARD
Phil Mickelson
-6 Chris DiMarco (US), Phil Mickelson (US)
-4 Paul Casey (Eng)
-3 KJ Choi (Kor), Bernhard Langer (Ger), Ernie Els (SA)
-2 Kirk Triplett (US)
American pair Chris DiMarco and Phil Mickelson share the lead going into the final round of the Masters at Augusta.

A 68 from DiMarco and Mickelson's round of 69 gave the pair a two-shot lead over their nearest challenger, England's Paul Casey.

Mickelson ensured he would have a share of the lead by sinking a tricky 12-foot putt at the 18th for par.

Both players are still chasing their first major titles, although Mickelson has had a number of near misses.

Neither man dropped a shot during their third rounds, sharing the lead from the moment DiMarco, who led here after 36 holes in 2002, birdied the 14th hole to get to six under.

Mickelson has an excellent record at Augusta - third in his last three Masters starts - but has yet to shed his tag of being the best player never to win a major.

Casey propelled himself into contention with a stunning round of 68, which included four birdies on the front nine.

But it was a different story for Casey's English compatriot Justin Rose. The overnight leader slumped to three over par after posting nine bogeys in a depressing round.

Both leaders will be wary of Ernie Els, who is in a three-way tie for fourth after shooting a one-under-par 71.

It's just a much easier game driving it in play
Phil Mickelson
The South African was steady on the front nine, picking up two birdies to move to four under for the tournament.

He dropped shots at the 11th and 13th before picking up a birdie at the 15th to finish at three under.

Els was lucky to escape with just a bogey at the 11th after he was given a friendly free drop having found trouble in the trees off the fairway.

Alongside Els on three under are Korea's KJ Choi and German veteran Bernhard Langer, a two-time Masters champion.

One shot further back is Kirk Triplett. The 42-year-old American quietly compiled a three-under-par 69 and is now just four shots off the lead and one shot clear of Fredrik Jacobson.

The 29-year-old Swede charged into the Green Jacket picture with the best round of the day, a superb 67.

Tiger Woods' trials at the majors will continue until the US Open at least, after the world number one could only manage a three-over-par 75 to leave him nine shots off the lead.





Links to more Masters 2004 stories


 

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Masters co-leader Phil Mickelson
"Im delighted with how I am playing"



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