April 13, 2014 (ISN) – Former champion Bubba Watson was pegged back to five under par on the penultimate day of the Masters as he and debutant Jordan Spieth take a one shot lead going into the final day at the Augusta National Golf Club.
Following two days of blistering golf, the American stumbled to a two over par 74 to fall within firing line of the chasing pack, as 20-year-old Spieth’s impressive 70 brought him a step closer to securing an historic Green Jacket on his Masters debut.
Should the youngster go all the way on tomorrow’s final day he will become the youngest winner of the Masters, topping Tiger Woods’ record set in 1997 when he won his maiden Masters at 21 years and three months.
“It’s a dream come true, to be in the final group, to just kind of see what it’s like,” the American said.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had a round where I’ve been nervous on every single swing, shot and putt.
“I’m sure that will happen tomorrow, but hopefully I can channel it positively and stay grounded, stay cool and see what happens.”
Just four shots separate Watson and Spieth from the 11-strong chasing pack going into tomorrow’s final round.
Germany’s Matt Kuchar hit a third round 68 to sit alongside Jonas Blixt, also a Masters debutant, on four under.
Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez shot the round of the week, a six-under par, to jump up to three under with Rickie Fowler, as follow American Jim Furyk, Britain’s Lee Westwood and Sweden’s Thomas Bjorn sit a further shot behind on two-under.
Four golfers are tied for tenth on one under including Britain’s US Open champion Justin Rose, Masters rookie Kevin Stadler and Fred Couples from the US and Australian John Senden.
After two perilous rounds on Thursday (April 10) and yesterday, Watson came into the penultimate round with a three shot lead over his closest rival.
A dropped shot on the opening hole was followed by an eagle on the second after a huge drive and approach to six feet.
Three dropped shots coming up to the turn saw him drop back to the chasing pack of Blixt, Bjorn and Kuchar before he took the initiative again with a birdie on 10.
The 2012 champion, failed to push on from here and, let down by his putter, could not take advantage of the reachable par-five 13th, before struggling for par at the par-five 15th.
A bogey at the 16th pegged him back to five under but he managed to save par on the last two despite catching the trees with his tee-shot on the 18th.
“If somebody had told me Monday I’d shoot 74 and still be tied for the lead, I’d take it all day long,” said Watson.
“I knew if I could make that par putt I would be in the final group.”