They have a one-shot lead on Rickie Fowler, who said he's feeling as good as ever as he also pursues his first major title, and a two-shot advantage on Jordan Spieth, who has fought his way back to have a chance to win his second green jacket in three years and gain some retribution for his collapse a year ago.
Rose said he and his caddie knew they were being tested on the front nine, a stretch in which he mixed two birdies with a pair of bogeys, and so they decided patience was paramount.
Overall, 10 golfers have a solid shot at winning The Masters, entering the final round at -1 or better.
Fowler is dominating all the putting statistics for the tournament and birdied all four par-5s on the way to his 71.
In start contrast to the flashy 28-year-old Fowler is 57-year-old Couples, the 1992 green jacket victor who has been a perennial challenger at the Masters since becoming eligible for the Champions Tour. Then he bogeyed the 14th and put his tee shot in the water at the par-three 16th, leading to a double bogey. "It was a reward for staying patient on the front nine".
World number two Rory McIlroy, the highest-ranked player in the field following the withdrawal of Dustin Johnson, made a move with two early birdies but a double-bogey at the seventh dropped him back to two over.
"There's wonderful storylines [heading into the last round]", Rose said. He is prepared to mix patience with aggressiveness during what figures to be a shootout on Sunday.
Now it really gets fun at the Augusta National Golf Club. "We chose to be patient with it and even though it doesn't always work, it did today".
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A supporter of the "no" vote lights a flare during a protest in Istanbul, against the referendum outcome, Monday, April 17, 2017. We are awaiting the assessment of the OSCE/ODIHR International Observation Mission, also with regard to alleged irregularities.
Garcia, heckled about his lack of a major win by U.S. fans at last September's Ryder Cup, has found support at Augusta National. Jordan Spieth is playing in his fourth Masters and never has finished worse than second place.
Spieth referenced his meltdown previous year when a quadruple bogey on No. 12 cost him the lead and the tournament when he said, "I know anything can happen".
The last person to win a major championship after trailing by at least 10 shots after the first round was Harry Vardon.
Garcia had a marvelous ball-striking day, missing only three fairways and three greens, and playing a bogey-free second nine for the second time this week.
That was five shots behind leader Charley Hoffman, who had six holes remaining, and Westwood said: " I did what I needed to do today. "Jordan and I could potentially get off to a good start and really push each other and pull the best out of each other". There are wonderful story lines in a major championship. Aaron went on to claim his only green jacket.
However, he is back with an outside chance after converting six birdies in a four-under-par 68. "So you've just got to roll with it and realize that sometimes you're going to get good breaks, like has happened to me a few times this week, and sometimes you're going to get not so good breaks. I'm going to need something like that to have a chance tomorrow", McIlroy said. If he completes the largest comeback in Masters history, he would be the first major champion in 121 years (1896 British Open victor Harry Vardon) to erase a double-digit deficit.
Further birdies on the eighth and 12th provided hope, but he could not add any more to close the gap on the leaders.
Leonard Shapiro of the Washington Post passed along post-round reaction from Garcia, who said the wind played a role in being unable to build off his strong start.
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