Scheffler was six shots clear of the field after eight holes of the third round at Augusta National, but eventually had to settle for a three-stroke advantage as the Australian produced the lowest round of the day – a 68 – in testing conditions.
“It should be a great fight,” Scheffler said after his 71. “Obviously Cam is a tremendous player, he’s got a fantastic short game and he’s coming off a huge win at The Players (Championship).
“Both of us are in good form so I’m definitely looking forward to the challenge of playing with him. For me, being in this position, it’s nice to be in control of the golf tournament.
“And all I’m trying to do out there is be committed to my shots and execute, and after that it’s not really up to me.”
The American heads into the final round on nine under par, with Smith on six under and South Korea’s Sungjae Im two shots further back. Ireland’s Shane Lowry and 2011 champion Charl Schwartzel share fourth place on two under.
Shot of the day
Former champion Charl Schwartzel holed out from 136 yards for an eagle on the 10th.
Quote of the day
Tiger Woods does not mince his words after struggling badly on the greens in his 78.
Tweet of the day
Kevin Na’s unfortunate five-putt on the 16th is analysed in detail.
Round of the day
Smith was the only player to break 70 on day three.
Statistic of the day
The omens look good for Scheffler fans.
The par-five second played as the easiest hole, giving up one eagle, 29 birdies and just three bogeys for a scoring average of 4.462.
The 18th was the most challenging and just two players made birdie, with leader Scheffler one of 19 to make bogey as the par-four played to an average of 4.558.
Skies will quickly clear on Saturday evening with a decreasing breeze, setting the stage for a chilly night. After a cold start on Sunday morning, sunny skies will help temperatures warm into the low 70s during the afternoon with a lighter breeze.
Key tee times (all BST)
1550 Jon Rahm, Tiger Woods1850 Rory McIlroy, Collin Morikawa1930 Sungjae Im, Shane Lowry1940 Scottie Scheffler, Cameron Smith