The Masters' final Sunday never lets you down for excitement, but the earlier rounds can frequently be routine. Now and again, however, one of them etches itself into the grand annals of the tournament's history, and such was the case with Saturday's third round. Mostly, it will become known as Miller's Saturday despite the shotmaking that Weiskopf provided much later in the day.
Miller admitted that he began the tournament "choking." At 146 he was 11 strokes behind Nicklaus, and some of the players were leaning back in their leather chairs in the locker room and saying, "By the way, whatever happened to the Nicklaus-Miller duel?"
Now came Saturday, a day that gleamed with bright weather compared with the mist and rain of the first two rounds. Miller teed off early, and he was finishing the front nine as Nicklaus and Palmer were about to begin at 2:10 p.m.
At the Masters they post notes of interest on the huge scoreboards that rise up out of the pines. On the one everybody can see from the putting green, from behind the 9th and 18th greens and from the veranda, a note was posted: Miller four under. Nicklaus and Palmer glanced casually at the scoreboard as they loitered on the putting green.
"Pretty good round Miller's got going," Nicklaus said.
"Yeah, four under," Palmer said.
"Six," Nicklaus said, pointing out that Miller had been two over par when the day began.
Palmer squinted at the scoreboard.
"Yeah, not bad," he said.
Nicklaus smiled. "It's only an alltime record," he said.