Bubba Watson 2-over on his front 9 at the Masters

Rob Carr

Bubba Watson is still in the lead, but barely, after he carded four bogeys during his first nine holes in the third round.

Bubba Watson did an excellent job of avoiding dropped shots during the first two rounds of the Masters, carding just two total bogeys on Thursday and Friday. He more than doubled that bogey total during his first nine in the third round and has now lost sole possession of first place.

Watson got off to a rough start, dropping a shot on the opening hole with a bogey at No. 1. He appeared to right the ship right away, however, drilling a beautiful second shot in the par-5 second hole to set up an eagle try. Watson sank the putt to move to 8-under. The players below him were also running into early issues, so for a brief moment, Watson led by five strokes.

That comfortable lead did not last long. His tee shot at No. 4 came up short of the green. The fourth hole is a brutal challenge and missing short leaves a very difficult up-and-down. Watson couldn't pull it off, missing the par putt to drop his second stroke of the day. He had more issues at the second par-3 of the front nine, three-putting his way to another bogey. The three-putt was his first of the tournament. Now 6-under, Watson's lead was cut to two. It narrowed even more on No. 7 with Watson's par putt burning the right edge.

He still led by a stroke heading into the par-5 eighth, with a good chance to get a stroke back. He was set up with a solid birdie try.  Watson seemingly made every putt during the first 36 holes, but has done the complete opposite on Saturday. His birdie attempt missed, and while he tapped in for par, Jonas Blixt and Thomas Bjorn picked up shots to pull into a tie for the lead at 5-under. Watson had another birdie attempt at No. 9, but once again missed the putt and was forced to settle for a par.

Watson makes the turn in 38, 2-over on the round. Here is a closer look at his first nine holes.

Hole

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

Out

Par

4

5

4

3

4

3

4

5

4

36

Score

5

3

4

4

4

4

5

5

4

38

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