Jordan Spieth isn't even old enough to legally drink alcohol, yet he's one round away from winning the 2014 Masters. I have done nothing with my life.
After shooting a two-under par 70 on Saturday, the 20-year-old pulled into a tie with Bubba Watson for the lead at Augusta. Watson's four bogeys on the front nine opened the door for Spieth, and the youngster didn't look a gift horse in the mouth:
As if you needed any more reason to tune into Sunday's final round, the battle at the top creates massively compelling television.
When: Sunday, April 13; live coverage begins at 2 p.m. ET
Where: Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Ga.
Watson's problems on the front nine were completely unexpected. You could've guessed that there would've been some regression to the mean after he posted a 69 and 68, respectively, in the first two rounds.
Much harder to predict was the four bogeys he shot in the first seven holes. Had it not been for an eagle on No. 2, he almost certainly wouldn't be tied for the lead and could've fallen even further behind.
Despite his problems in the third round, Watson kept everything in perspective, per USA Today's Steve DiMeglio:
All in all, a good day. If somebody told me on Monday I'd have 74 and still be tied for the lead, I'd have taken it all day long. My emotions were good. I knew that I was hitting the ball good. I knew I was hitting my driver well. I knew the key was just making some putts down the stretch, and luckily I did that on the last two holes to get in the final group.
Considering he's reached the summit at Augusta before, Watson appears to be in the best position to pull off the win on Sunday.
He'll have plenty of competition, though.
Rather than excelling on any one day, Spieth has been a model of consistency, carding under-par scores in all three rounds. That's the first time an Augusta debutant has done that since 1984, per CBSSports.com's Will Brinson:
Jordan Spieth first first-time Masters player with three sub-par rounds since Larry Mize in 1984 (via @GOLFonCBS)— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) April 12, 2014
After his round was over, Spieth commented on how important it was for him to get into the final group on Sunday, per Sky Sports Golf:
Jordan Spieth says he really wanted to get into the last group for Sunday's final round. "No matter what, now I can control my own destiny."— Sky Sports Golf (@SkySportsGolf) April 12, 2014
Despite his performance through the first three rounds, you do wonder if the pressure will get to the former Texas Longhorns star. Pulling through on the final day of the Masters is unlike anything Spieth has done up to this point in his career.
Just when you think the #Masters won't live up to its billing, young Jordan Spieth comes along and does these once in a generation things...— Lisa Cornwell (@LisaCornwellGC) April 12, 2014
Three of the golfers to watch on Sunday are Matt Kuchar, Rickie Fowler and Miguel-Angel Jimenez. They shot four under, five under and six under, respectively, on Saturday to climb up the leaderboard and become a viable threat in the final round.
Fowler's 67 and Jimenez's 66 are the two lowest scores posted so far in this year's Masters, per ESPN Stats and Info:
Miguel Jimenez shot a 66 today, Rickie Fowler shot a 67, the 2 best rounds by anyone thus far at this year's Masters.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 12, 2014
They're both at three under for the tournament and tied for third.
Kuchar, meanwhile is at four under and tied for fifth. He's no stranger to the top 10 at the Masters, finishing eighth last year and third in 2012.
His performances in final rounds this year, though, are much more foreboding, per ESPN Stats and Info's Justin Ray:
Final round @PGATOUR scoring average ranks of our leaders this season: Bubba 9th, Blixt T25th, Spieth T51st, Kuchar T64th.— Justin Ray (@JRayESPNGolf) April 12, 2014
Can Matt Kuchar (1 back) snap his recent Sunday slide? Last 4 tournaments, he's -17 on Saturday and +6 in final round.— Justin Ray (@JRayESPNGolf) April 12, 2014
There's no doubt that Kuchar positioned himself well to make a run in the final round. Whether or not he'll finish the job remains to be seen.
The only guarantee for Sunday is that fans will be treated to some of the best golf they'll see all year. With the leaderboard so tightly packed, it's anybody's green jacket to win.
And maybe, just maybe, this year's Masters will serve as a coronation ceremony for golf's next prodigy, as it did in 1997 for Tiger.
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