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Most of the right names are in proper position. The final six groups in the third round of the Masters on Saturday include eight major champions.
The oddity among them: The final group contains zero.
Patrick Reed, the 27-year-old Texan who’s an established Ryder Cup hero, and Mark Leishman, an Australian who has contended here before, are each seeking their first major championship at Augusta National Golf Club.
Reed’s second-round 66 on Friday vaulted him into the lead at the tournament’s midway point, getting him to 9 under par and granting him a two-shot advantage over Leishman. In 2013, Leishman played in the final pairing on Sunday in the Masters, watching countryman Adam Scott force a playoff, which he won.
“Everyone wants to win, and if you don’t believe you can win them, then you probably shouldn’t be playing in them,” Reed said Friday evening. “I believe that if I play the golf that I know how to play that I can win majors.”
So many around them have already done it. The penultimate group consists of Sweden’s Henrik Stenson (2016 British Open) and four-time major champion Rory McIlroy, who needs only the Masters to complete the career grand slam. Before them comes the duo of Jordan Spieth, whose three majors include the 2015 Masters, and Dustin Johnson, who won the 2016 U.S. Open.
Also among those final six groups: 2017 PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas, 2010 British Open champ Louis Oosthuizen, 2013 U.S. Open champ Justin Rose and two-time Masters winner Bubba Watson. All are within seven shots of Reed’s lead.
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson both made the weekend at the Masters, but the pre-tournament hype that the two 40-somethings could contend proved untrue.