Ernie Els of South Africa, walks to the second green during the third round of the Masters golf tournament Saturday, April 8, 2017, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

The Latest: Els closes out what might be his final Masters

April 09, 2017 - 1:55 pm

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — The Latest on the final round of the Masters on Sunday (all times local):

1:50 p.m.

Ernie Els may have hit his final shot at the Masters.

If so, the Big Easy hardly went out with a flourish.

Playing with a marker in the first group, Els posted a 6-over 78 Sunday and will likely finish with the highest score of anyone making the cut at 20 over.

On Saturday, the South African struggled to an 83 — his worst score ever at Augusta National.

This is the final year of automatic eligibility for the 47-year-old Els, and given his age and state of his game, he knows it will be tough to earn his way back.

"You can put a line on it and say most probably it will be the last one," Els said before the tournament started. "We'll see, unless we do something down the road. But you know, it's been good. Whatever. If I come back again, great. If I don't, it's been good."

Els has played the Masters 23 times. He was twice a runner-up but missed the cut five of the last 10 years.

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1 p.m.

Brendan Steele had the hottest start at the Masters on Sunday. It won't get him into the mix for a green jacket, but it should make him feel a bit better about his week.

Steele opened with three straight birdies and added a fourth on the seventh hole to improve to 2 over about two hours into the final round. He's still eight shots behind co-leaders Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia at 6-under. Rickie Fowler is one shot off the lead.

Rose and Garcia, friends and European Ryder Cup teammates, tee off in just less than two hours.

Rose is seeking his second career major title while Garcia is chasing his first.

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2:55 a.m.

Justin Rose sounded more like a golf fan planning out his Sunday TV schedule than a co-leader at the Masters prepping for the final round.

There's Jordan Spieth, who "obviously has a special relationship the Masters," Rose said.

And Rickie Fowler, who will "be all up for it tomorrow."

And his Ryder Cup teammate Sergio Garcia, who will "have a great opportunity."

He summed up his rundown saying, "There's wonderful storylines."

Garcia and Fowler will be seeking their first major wins. But perhaps the best comeback of this tournament belongs to Spieth.

The 2015 Masters champion was all but gone after a frustrating, quadruple bogey nine on the 15th hole in Thursday's opening round. Spieth, though, started clawing back with a birdie on No. 16 to reframe his focus and, although he was 10 shots down he's just two back heading into the final round.

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