Ballesteros would have been 60 today – an anniversary Garcia is desperate to mark with a Masters win which would break his own Major Championship duck.
Rose though, neck and neck with the Spaniard at the top of the leaderboard after tearing up the back nine in a round-of-the-day 67, has revealed that he will be just as much an inspiration to him as the 81st Masters reaches its climax.
“Seve was one of my idols – one of my top two or three players that I watched growing up,” said Rose.
“He was always incredibly encouraging to me even in my early days when I was struggling as a young pro. He was one of the few guys to put his arm around me and give me some encouraging words of advice and wisdom. He could be a good inspiration this weekend.
Justin Rose admits Seve Ballesteros was one of his idols
“My short game is still the area I am not 100 per cent happy with. I’m not quite converting enough of those so if I can harness a bit of Seve that would be good.
“I’m in a great position going into tomorrow. It’s very easy to think about ‘what ifs’ and it’s nice to imagine but I need to get back in the zone. I have to stay positive and play good, aggressive golf like I did today.”
Rose, who was out on the practice area at Augusta sharpening his wedge play after his round, was runner-up in 2015 but if he can conjure a repeat of yesterday he is in line to be the one receiving the fabled jacket from fellow Englishman Danny Willett in Butler Cabin tonight.
The 36-year-old is buoyed by the knowledge that he can do it when the heat is on having already claimed a US Open and an Olympic title in his career.
“Having a Major and a gold medal in my back pocket are all important experiences. They are evidence that when I set my mind to something or there is something important, I can bring my best golf and step up and get over the line,” he said.
Seve Ballesteros would have celebrated his 60th birthday tomorrow on the final day
“When you get down to those last few holes that is when you remind yourself of those positive experiences for sure.”
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Rose birdied five of the last seven holes yesterday to book his place in the final group alongside his Ryder Cup teammate Garcia.
The threat could well come from the penultimate group though with Jordan Spieth moving menacingly into position to strike yesterday.
The Augusta specialist, who has two second places and one win from his three Masters appearances, looks ominously strong two shots back after coming through the field with a 68 yesterday.
Rory McIlroy admitted his challenge is as good as over as his career Grand Slam dreams stalled again at Augusta National.
The World No2 needed a third round charge at the Masters to catapult him into the leading group but he trod water with a 71 to finish the day at level par.
English golfers at the 2017 Masters
Tue, April 4, 2017
Express Sport runs through the field of English golfers chasing the green jacket at the 2017 Masters
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Express Sport runs through the English golfers competing at the 2017 Masters
It almost certainly leaves McIlroy with too much to do to close the gap today extending his wait for the one Major which still eludes him for another 12 months.
“I am probably going to have to play the round of my life to stand a chance,” admitted McIlroy.
With little room for manoeuvre after starting the day five shots adrift, a calamitous double bogey at the seventh did for him. He was in trouble off the tee and could only chase out his ball into a bunker from the trees from where a messy escape led to a three-putt.
Paul Casey is alongside him after a 69 but thinks the six-shot deficit is too much to make up.
“I genuinely think I'm just too far out of it,” admitted Casey.
Lee Westwood, the runner-up last year, shot a 68 to move to one under.
“I did what I needed to do today. I needed to get into the red. Obviously I would like to be deep in the red but one under is pretty good. I’ve got half a chance tomorrow if I can get a roll going on the front nine,” said Westwood.
Matt Fitzpatrick slipped back with a 73, but it was still a good day for the 22-year-old with his beloved Sheffield United winning promotion.
“That’s just made today ten times better,” said Fitzpatrick.