AUGUSTA, Ga. — On a day for going low at the Masters, Jason Day, Adam Scott and Louis Oosthuizen were stuck in neutral.

So much for moving day. It might cost them a shot at the green jacket.

While three players were shooting 64 on Saturday and a bunch of others were putting up lofty numbers in red, the trio of major champions combined for an even-par total that failed to keep pace with those at the top of the leaderboard.

Italy’s Francesco Molinari shot a 6-under 66 and goes into the final round with a two-stroke leader at 13-under 203, while Tiger Woods (67) and Tony Finau (64) are his closest challengers.

“The conditions were just perfect,” Dustin Johnson said. “Light wind. Very scoreable.”

Eleven players in the top 19 were in the 60s in the third round, and four others posted 70. But Oosthuizen could only manage a 1-under 71 – good enough on most days at Augusta, but not this one. The South African dropped five shots back at 8 under.

Scott was bedeviled by a shaky putter on the way to a 72, while Day couldn’t get things going off the tee and struggled to a 73.

The Aussies were six and seven shots behind, respectively.

“I just was out of position all day with my driver,” said Day, who was among just 20 players in the 65-man field who failed to break par. “Unfortunately, I just couldn’t get it on the fairways and get myself back into position to give myself a legitimate chance to make a birdie, especially on the par 5s.”

Day played the four easiest-scoring holes at a cumulative 2 over. He dumped one in the water at the 15th and wound up with a double-bogey.

“Although I didn’t have my best stuff, I felt like I was managing it pretty well until 15,” Day said. “I hit one in the water, and you just can’t do that there, especially to that pin.”

Scott’s score felt even worse because he struck the ball so well until he got to the green. He needed 32 putts, mainly because he missed seven attempts from 10 feet and closer.

The others weren’t much better – Oosthuizen took 31 putts and Day 30.

By comparison, Patrick Cantlay used the putter 24 times on his way to a 64. Finau and Webb Simpson also were 8 under on the day while taking 27 putts apiece, making it the first time in Masters history that three players shot as low as 64.

The scoring average for the round (70.77) was eclipsed only by last year’s final round.

Day is hopeful that the potential for stormy weather and tougher conditions might help on Sunday.

“A little disappointing with how things ended, but I think the wind is going to be up a little bit, hopefully,” Day said. “That gives us a little bit of a chance. But obviously, yeah, it’s disappointing to finish the way I did.”

THE CAREER Grand Slam was a long shot for Rory McIlroy going into the weekend. Now it would require nothing short of a record.

McIlroy couldn’t take advantage of the soft conditions and shot a 71, leaving him 12 shots behind. No one has ever come back from more than eight shots behind in the final round to win a green jacket. The largest comeback in any major is 10 shots by Paul Lawrie in the 1999 British Open.

“I just tried to play a good round of golf,” McIlroy said. “It wasn’t about chasing, it wasn’t about doing anything, it was just about going out there and executing the shots that I needed to. And I felt for the most part today that I did maybe a little bit better than the previous two days. But I just haven’t been getting much out of my round. I’ve just been making too many mistakes.”

McIlroy has 11 birdies and two eagles, but also 14 bogeys.

This is his fifth try at winning the Masters when the career Grand Slam was in play. The last three players to complete the Grand Slam all did it within three years of getting the third leg.

PRIZE MONEY: For the first time, the Masters champion will get just more than $2 million in addition to a green jacket.

The prize fund was increased this year by $500,000 to $11.5 million. The winner will receive $2,070,000, with the runner-up getting $1,242,000. That’s still short of the $12 million prize money at the U.S. Open last year.

The Players Championship last month had a $12.5 million purse, with the winner getting $2.25 million.

From an inflation standpoint, Jack Nicklaus made $902,359 from his 45 appearances, including six green jackets.

PHIL MICKELSON brought his best stuff to the Masters, at least the drive down Magnolia Lane.

Mickelson was paired with Matt Kuchar, a good friend and one of the few players for whom Mickelson never has an answer during their banter. Lefty posted to Twitter his drive into Augusta National. He mixed his excitement with this barb at Kuchar.

“Obviously we’re not going to have any side action today because I’d probably see like .06% if I did win,” Mickelson said.

That was a slight exaggeration. After winning a tournament in Mexico last November, Kuchar initially paid his local caddie just under 0.4 percent – $5,000 from his $1,296,000 earnings. Kuchar later paid him $50,000.