Jordan Spieth in ‘heaven on Earth’ at Augusta
Debutant (20) shares lead wtih Bubba Watson heading into final round of US Masters
US golfer Jordan Spieth (left) walking over the bridge at the 13th hole with his caddie Michael Greller during the third round of the Masters at Augusta National. Photograph: Mike Blake / Reuters
Jordan Spieth intends to channel his nerves on the final day at Augusta as he bids to make history by becoming the youngest winner of the Masters.
The 20-year-old carded a third round of 70 on Saturday to leave himself tied for a share of the lead with fellow American Bubba Watson on five under, the pair sitting one clear of compatriot Matt Kuchar and Swede Jonas Blixt.
While Watson knows what it takes to triumph in the first major of the season having donned a green jacket back in 2012, Spieth is uncharted waters so early in his professional career.
Tiger Woods won the first of his titles at the age of 21 while no rookie has managed to be successful at their first attempt at the venue since Fuzzy Zoeller back in 1979.
“I’ve never had a round where I’ve been nervous on every single swing, shot, and putt. I’m sure that will happen tomorrow (Sunday), but hopefully I can channel it positively and stay grounded, stay cool, and see what happens,” he said.
“I’m in a great position, a position I haven’t been in before but I’m excited about it. This is a place I’ve always dreamed about. It’s kind of heaven on Earth for me.”
Spieth, the second-youngest major leader after 54 holes since 1945, will lean on caddie Michael Greller to help him, particularly on the Augusta greens that are “like putting on rolling gravel”.
“As far as being patient shot-to-shot, I think I’ve done the best that I’ve ever had with my mental game. But yeah, I’m still going to talk to myself out there,” Spieth said. “I’m 20 and this is the Masters.
“Michael and I are having a great time out there and somehow staying extremely patient. It’s testing every ounce certain places. We’re playing the smart shots into the greens, controlling the ball fine and I’m putting well.
“It’s almost like you’re putting on rolling gravel. It was crazy fast out there. I’ve never putted on greens like this before.”
Fred Couples, a former winner himself, believes Spieth - named PGA Tour Rookie of the Year last season - can go on and complete the job on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.
“He’s special,” Couples, who is four back of the joint leaders on one under, said. “He’s such a great putter. He hits the ball long and high.
“For a 20-year-old he is pretty savvy. Not much bothers him. Tomorrow is going to be a really, really hard day to try to win this, but he’s well qualified to do it. He’s a top player.”