WATCH: Patrick Reed and Rory McIlroy set for final day showdown at The Masters after sensational third round
Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed are set for a repeat of their epic Ryder Cup showdown as damp conditions failed to prevent spectacular fireworks in the third round of the Masters.
McIlroy began the day five shots off the lead held by Reed, but birdied the third and fourth and then almost holed his tee shot on the par-three sixth.
And the best was yet to come as the former world number one chipped in for an eagle on the par-five eighth in pursuit of the win he needs to complete the career grand slam.
That briefly gave McIlroy a share of the lead, only for Reed to respond with a hat-trick of birdies from the eighth - the fifth time this week he has compiled such a scoring burst.
A bogey on the 12th cut Reed's lead to two, but he responded with an eagle on the 13th - where McIlroy had to save par from deep in the Azaleas left of the green - to move four shots clear.
Reed then fired another eagle with a chip in on the 15th (below) as he cemented his position at top of the leaderboard.
The drama continued through to the 18th hole, as McIlroy sank a stunning putt to leave him just three behind heading into the final round on Sunday.
"I loved it. I loved every minute of it. It's the best round I've ever played here," said McIlroy.
"It was bogey free, I didn't really put a foot wrong and when I did I took advantage of a bit of luck I had, or got an up or down, or made a key putt.
"It was a great round of golf, I'm proud of how I handled it out there. Now there is one day to go and I hope I can continue doing what I've been doing.
"There are still a few more players in this tournament than Patrick Reed and I. I think there's Rickie Fowler on nine, Jon Rahm on eight, there are still a few guys who have got a chance.
"I told myself not to look too much at the leaderboard and I didn't. It worked in my favour. I'm going to set myself a target tomorrow and try to get to it."
What a leaderboard.— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) April 7, 2018
1. Reed, -14
2. McIlroy, -11
3. Fowler, -9
4. Rahm, -8
5. Stenson, -7
6. Fleetwood, -6
6. Watson, -6
6. Leishman, -6
9. Thomas, -5
9. Spieth, -5
11. D. Johnson, -4
Masters Sunday s̶h̶o̶u̶l̶d̶ will be fun. pic.twitter.com/SQQ3WDbbi7