AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Adam Scott's chance at a second straight green jacket took a big hit Saturday at Augusta National with a third-round, 4-over 76 that dropped him six strokes out of the lead.
Scott, who opened the tournament with scores of 69 and 72, stumbled to a front-nine 40 that included a double-bogey and three bogeys. He managed just one birdie on the back side.
"I just kind of compounded my mistakes early with a couple of three-putts and got me off on the wrong foot," he said. "And with the conditions being so hard when you're on the back foot, this is a very hard course to pull shots in. Even with opportunities at (Nos.) 13 and 15, I didn't manage to do it.
"I just fought really hard but I couldn't get any of those early shots back. I'm disappointed, but a good round (Sunday) could go a long, long way."
Scott dropped into a tie for 16th, six strokes back of leaders Bubba Watson and Jordan Spieth. The Australian is bidding to become just the fourth player to defend his Masters title along with Jack Nicklaus (1965-66), Nick Faldo (1989-90) and Tiger Woods (2001-02).
"I'm going to have to come out and play a really good front nine," he said. "That's my goal at this point. I've just got to look at the front nine, and if I can shoot a few under on the front, you never know what can happen here on the back.
"It's not the end of the world, there are a lot of people between me and the leaders. But like I said, if I can play a good front nine, anything can happen on the back, and it would be fun to post a number and sit in the clubhouse and watch."
Scott tees off with fellow Aussie Jason Day at 1:10 p.m. ET, 90 minutes prior to Watson and Spieth.