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Harold Varner III moved in the wrong direction on moving day at the 2022 Masters Tournament.
After posting consecutive red-figure rounds to put himself in contention for the green jacket at the 86th Masters, Varner fell from sixth to 36th by Saturday evening at Augusta National.
The Gastonia native carded nine bogeys in the third round to finish 15 shots back of 54-hole leader Scottie Scheffler. Over the first two days of the tournament, Varner combined for only eight bogeys.
“It was pretty hard, especially from where I hit it,” said Varner, who hit just five greens in regulation. “It was just tough, and it got the best of me today, for sure.”
Varner’s round was bookended by back-to-back bogeys as he went from 2-under par to 6 over. A trio of bogeys through Amen Corner served as the toughest stretch of Varner’s tough day in blustery winds and cold temperatures.
“Everything you can think of,” he added. “The greens were a little faster, and I just put myself in places where I just couldn't score, especially off the tee.”
The 31-year-old East Carolina alum spent much of his day hitting out of the pine straw as he hit only 9 of 14 fairways. When asked if getting off the tee was his biggest problem, Varner said “Yeah, for sure.”
“It was just rough,” he added. “It is what it is.”
Five strokes shy of the top 10, Varner still has plenty to play for in Sunday's final round. The top 12 players and ties earn an invite to play in the 2023 Masters.
Staff writer Rodd Baxley can be reached at email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on The Gaston Gazette: Harold Varner III has 'rough' Saturday at 2022 Masters Tournament