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April 13 2013

4:50 PM

Three holes prove costly for Fowler

By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Rickie Fowler is 2 under with one round to play in the 77th Masters. If not for three holes, he could have been lower -- a lot lower.

It started with a double bogey on his very first hole of the week after driving into the trees and running his approach long. It continued with another nine holes later.

On Friday, Fowler yelled for his ball to go at the par-3 16th. It didn't, splashing down with Fowler eventually making triple bogey.

"You can end up in some funky spots around here," Fowler said. "It's just golf, a bad swing at the wrong time."

Take away those bad swings and Fowler is right there near the top of the leaderboard after a 2-under 70 on Saturday that included an eagle, a birdie and just one bogey.

Instead, he'll have some ground to make up.

"I played a little bit better than (Friday)," said Fowler, who came into the week off a tie for third at Bay Hill, where he played without pain medication for his ailing back for the first time since last June. "A little less stressful. "

His chances of winning his first major, however, are also a little more difficult thanks to three holes.

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