The 29-year-old needed only 27 putts on a day when many of the game’s best players were humbled on the greens, carding a one-under-par 71 to finish the third round just one stroke off the lead.
Though Blixt was not at his best off the tee, he wielded the flat stick like a magician as he mixed four birdies with three bogeys and sank several clutch par-saving putts to post a four-under total of 212.
“I’ve been putting really well around here,” he told reporters after ending the day in a tie for third behind pacesetting Americans Bubba Watson and Jordan Spieth.
“And I feel like almost everything in my bag is kind of working pretty well. If I can put the golf ball on the fairway tomorrow, I think I’ll be dangerous.”
Asked when he had last putted so well, Blixt replied: “Probably when I won last year, at Greenbrier. We did some tweaks, me and my swing coach just before this week, and it has really worked out.”
INSTANT AUGUSTA LIKING
Blixt, a double winner on the PGA Tour who finished fourth at last year’s PGA Championship after his second career start at a major, liked the look of Augusta National the first time he saw the layout.
“Coming here and playing this golf course, I have so many favourite holes, and it really suits my eye,” he said. “But it’s not (hole) seven and it’s not 11. I don’t want to play those again.”
Blixt, based in Florida, bogeyed the par-four seventh in the first and second rounds while he ran up a double at the par-four 11th on Friday before bogeying the hole on Saturday.
“If I can make some pars on 11 and 7, I’ll be a happy camper tomorrow,” he said. “This is where I want to be (in contention). I want to have a chance on Sunday, and that’s what I play for.”
Blixt, who clinched his maiden PGA Tour title at the 2012 Frys广西桑拿, Open, felt he had benefited from playing alongside veteran Dane Thomas Bjorn on Saturday.
“It was great,” he said. “He’s good at Swedish, and I’m not very good at Danish, so that made it a lot easier to talk to him. He’s a great player. I like him a lot.
“We’ve got some friends in common and talked a little bit about them and life and back home. It was nice. It was really nice.”
Blixt has been paired with American Matt Kuchar for the final round on Sunday when he will bid to become only the fourth first-timer to clinch the Masters, and the first Swede to land a men’s major.
(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes; editing by Julian Linden)