What they said: A round-up of the best quotes from round three of the 2021 Masters

Hideki Matsuyama is in pole position ahead of the final round at Augusta National – the Japanese star leads by four strokes, but is chased by a quartet who, like him, have never won a Green Jacket.

Most people probably expected Moving Day at the Masters to be dominated by the Americans Jordan Spieth, the 2015 winner, and Justin Thomas, recent winner of THE PLAYERS Championship.

Both were cosily placed in the top 10 and a move into the top five seemed nothing more than natural progression.

In reality, however, both struggled.

Spieth retains a chance heading into the final round, lying solo seventh and six shots back of the lead after a 72, but Thomas is now T13th and 10 strokes off the pace following a clumsy 75.

They were both trumped by a sensational back nine charge from Japan's Hideki Matsuyama, who emerged from an hour delay shortly after he made the turn like a man possessed.

html) */?>

More than anyone else in the field, the 29-year-old coped with the softer conditions after heavy rainfall and fired his approaches at the pins to shoot a 7-under-par 65 and lead the way on 11-under 205.

He will be hunted on Sunday by the quartet of his playing partner all weekend Xander Schauffele, long-time tournament leader Justin Rose, rookie Will Zalatoris and Aussie Marc Leishman.

Not one of the five has ever won a Masters before, but they are all in a strong position because each of the last 31 winners was T5th or better after 54 holes.

Let's take a look at what they said to the media after their rounds on Saturday.

Hideki Matsuyama

On the transformation of his day (1-under through ten holes before the delay, 6-under through eight after it):

"Right before the rain delay, I probably hit the worst shot I've hit this week. After it I just figured I can't hit anything worse than that. Maybe it relieved some pressure, but I hit it well coming in."

What did he do in the delay to prompt that change?

"Sat in my car looking at my cell phone."

Masters Mishaps: Third round fails!

On playing with Japanese-speaking Schauffele:

"It was really enjoyable. We didn't get a chance to talk a lot, but when we did, we exchanged some good Japanese jokes and had a good laugh."

On Covid protocols restricting the number of Japanese media following him this week:

"I'm not sure how to answer this in a good way, but being in front of the media is still difficult. I'm glad the media are here covering it, but it's not my favourite thing to do, to stand and answer questions. With fewer media, it's been a lot less stressful for me and I've enjoyed this week."

Best price 5/6 with Paddy Power.

Xander Schauffele

On saving par at each of the last three holes:

"My dinner will taste a little better. I had a few putts coming down the stretch, one on 16 and then up-and-down on 17 and 18. Wasn't quite as nice as Hideki's clean-up on the last few holes, but I'll take it."

html) */?>

On going close in the Majors without yet winning:

"It's all part of the process. I'm a huge fan of putting myself in position with nine holes to go and learning from each and every mistake, and also the things I did well."

On chatting to Matsuyama in Japanese:

"My grandparents lived in Japan so I know a little bit. I threw my few words here and there. Some bad words in there too, unfortunately. Hideki and (his caddie) Shota are great. They're a fun group to play with."

Best price 5/1 with Paddy Power.

Marc Leishman

On learning Masters-winning lessons from playing with Adam Scott in the final round of his win in 2013 and also with Patrick Reed in the third lap of his triumph in 2018:

"I've seen what you have to do. It's just a matter of executing and doing it. You don't have to be perfect. You can make mistakes, but they just can't be big mistakes. You can't compound errors. You need to know where to miss it."

On his play this week:

"Hopefully I can keep driving it the way I have been, let my irons do their work and get a hot putter. You never know what might happen. I've been here before and I feel comfortable in this position. I enjoy this. This is what we play golf for, so I'm excited for tomorrow."

On how quickly it can change at Augusta:

"A lot can happen around here. I've seen it, happened the year Scottie won. You can make up four shots fairly quickly, but you have to do a lot of things right to do that."

Best price 12/1 with Unibet.

Justin Rose

On struggling after the delay:

"You had to make an adjustment. The greens slowed up a good foot and I didn't putt great for three or four holes. Finally got my eye back in and putted great coming in, luckily, because I was struggling."

html) */?>

On being pleased to get the round completed:

"The momentum, the physical recovery chances of finishing tonight is huge. That par-save on 18, I did the same on 17 and the same on 15 and the same on 14. I'm pretty happy just to be able to walk into the clubhouse before I dropped another shot."

On how the final round will play out:

"You start birdie-birdie (as Rose did in round three), it doesn't really mean much. This golf course, you've just got to keep playing it. Hideki has got to keep playing it. There's not really a linear progression to 12-under par or whatever you might need to be. There's going to be those dips and peaks and valleys out there."

Can he win?

"I didn't play well enough today, simple as that really. But I think, all in all, to have a shot tomorrow, I'm delighted. It's all up for grabs tomorrow."

Best price 10/1 with Unibet.

Will Zalatoris

How many Sundays at the Masters has the 24-year-old watched before his debut this week?

"Probably the last 24."

On being desperate to birdie the 18th in round three:

"Specifically, going up 18, I was trying to get into the last group. I knew that birdie putt was going to put me in the last group. It would have been a big advantage, obviously, turning four shots into three shots, but I wanted to be in that last group."

On the experience of making his Masters bow and his chances on Sunday:

"I thought I might have been a little bit more nervous, to be honest. It's just something that I've wanted my entire career. Like I said, I'm not going to shy away from it. I've wanted to do this. I've wanted to put on a Green Jacket my entire career and I've got a good opportunity to do it. So let's go do it."

Best price 10/1 with Paddy Power.

READ MORE: Top six chasing Masters glory: Who will be wearing a Green Jacket after Sunday's final round?

Latest Golf Videos