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Tied with Watson, debutant Spieth seeks Green Jacket

Monday, 14 April 2014 - 1:35am IST | Place: Augusta | Agency: DNA

 "Heaven on earth," was how Jordan Spieth described the Augusta National Golf Club when he first came here in October last to check out the course before playing this ongoing Masters. Spieth, who like 2012 Masters champion Bubba Watson, attends the PGA Tour's weekly Bible study is just 20 and understands well that heavens will not collapse if he does not win.

But if he does, he will be making history – taking over from Tiger Woods as the youngest champion in the history of the Masters and also the first Masters debutant to do so in 35 years after Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979.

What's more, if Spieth wins, he will also become the youngest winner at any of the Majors since Tom Creavy won the 1931 PGA Championship seven months after turning 20. Spieth will be 21 in July.

Spieth is ranked one behind Watson's No. 12 in world rankings, but the latter is 15 years older and won the Masters two years ago. "So far, so good," said Spieth. "This is the position I want to be in."

Spieth (70) and Watson (74) are tied for the lead at five-under, 211, the highest 54-hole leading score since 2006. The reason is not difficult to fathom, as Watson said, The greens have "really firmed up, were a lot faster, a lot harder than what we are used to the day before."

Tied at third are first timer Jonas Blixt (71), who has shot all three rounds in red, and veteran Matt Kuchar (68), who has been in top-10 last two years. If Blixt wins, he will become the first European winner here since Jose Maria Olazabal in 1999.

Spieth and Watson go out in lead group while Kuchar and Blixt follow them with Jimenez and Fowler in the group after that.

The star on Saturday was the 50-year-old Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez, who had the low round of the tournament with 66 and is tied for fifth place, two shots back, with the 25-year-old Rickie Fowler (67). Jimenez could break Jack Nicklaus' record as the oldest champion at age 46. Watson was neither sharp with his ball striking, nor was his putter doing his bidding, as he struggled on the slick greens, taking 33 putts, including two three-putts.

Spieth compiled a 70 with four birdies, two of them at a crucial stage on 14th and 15th – he had two others on third and sixth – besides two bogeys.




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