Hideki Matsuyama is 18 holes away from a historic Masters triumph after a superb round of 65 at Augusta National on Saturday.
The Japanese player, chasing a first major title, can become the first Asian to win the Green Jacket on Sunday.
He leads by four shots at 11-under-par.
Even the weather-delayed third round could not derail Matsuyama's ambitions - instead, the 75-minute stoppage helped enhance his credentials.
With rain falling, the threat of thunderstorms forced officials to sound the horns but the world number 25 took full advantage of the more benign conditions after the restart.
Three-under for the day through 12 holes, his challenge burst into life with an eagle three at the par-five 15th.
He followed that with successive birdies at 16 and 17, before a deft chip at the 18th saw him sign for a bogey-free seven-under 65.
— The Masters (@TheMasters) April 11, 2021
He said after that the wet weather 'allowed me to put spin on the ball'.
"I did play well today,"
"My game plan was carried out, and hopefully tomorrow I can continue good form. All I can do is prepare well, try my best and do the best that I can tomorrow."
Four players lie four shots adrift in a tie for second, including England's Justin Rose.
For the second day in a row, the first-round leader came signed for a level-par 72.
However, he believes he, and the others in the chasing pack, are capable of hunting down the leader.
You know, all the guys chasing at seven under are all capable of that little run that Hideki has had, so it's all up for grabs tomorrow," he said post-round.
Jordan Spieth, a former champion at Augusta, is six shots off the pace at 5-under.
Matsuyama's birdie blitz means that Shane Lowry is now eleven shots behind.
The Offaly native went around in level-par 72, which included three birdies and three bogies.
He tees off at 5.20pm Irish time.
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