1. Archive


Bubba Watson and Jordan Spieth differ in age and in attitude about their games. They are tied for the lead with one round left.

Times wires

AUGUSTA, Ga. - Give a good listen to Bubba Watson, to what he says and how he says it. Then do the same with Jordan Spieth. Then try to pick out who is the older, more accomplished golfer.

Watson could say anything at any time, a trait that is reflected in his golf, everything laced with the nonchalance of youth.

Spieth is measured in his tone and manner, a trustee, a CEO. "I haven't played video games in years," he said Saturday night.

Yet Watson is 35, a husband and father. Spieth is 20, a college dropout playing the Masters for the first time.

They are in the final pairing for today's final round after finishing Round 3 tied for the lead at 5-under 211.

Watson, the second-round leader, spent much of Saturday pointing in all directions, because who knows where his ball might have been going as he shot 2-over 74. Spieth performed as if he barely had a pulse. In three Masters rounds, he has never shot in the 60s, yet never has he been over par, either: 71, 70 and Saturday's 70.

"I'm 20, and this is my first Masters," Spieth said. "This is the tournament I've always dreamt about."

Watson is trying to win his second Masters in three years. Spieth is facing a longer list of accomplishments. He could become the youngest Masters winner, the youngest major winner since 1931 (Tom Creavy won the 1931 PGA Championship at 20) and the youngest stroke-play major winner since 1922 (Gene Sarazen won the 1922 U.S. Open at 20).

Spieth also would be the first Masters rookie to win since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979.

"I'm not nervous right now," Spieth said.

"He's young," Watson said. "Nerves are no big deal to him."

Matt Kuchar, who squandered chances to win in each of the past two weeks, shot 68, matching his best score at the Masters and his best on the weekend at any major, and was one shot behind along with Masters rookie Jonas Blixt, who fell out of the lead with a bogey on the 17th and shot 71.

Two shots behind were 50-year-old Miguel Angel Jimenez and 25-year-old Rickie Fowler, who shot the two best rounds of the day.

Jimenez rattled off seven birdies for a tournament-best 66 that gave him a shot at becoming the oldest winner in 154 years of championship golf. Fowler shot 67.

"Got to be honest: You definitely feel nerves out there," Fowler said. "Like coming in (Saturday), making the swings down the stretch, the juices are flowing. It's Augusta. It's the Masters. It's a lot of fun."

But there's a lot of traffic on the road to a green jacket, mostly because of Watson.

The Bagdad, Fla., native stretched his three-shot Friday lead to five with a 7-iron to 6 feet for eagle on the second hold. He made only one birdie the rest of the way, a round sprinkled with putts that he either rammed too hard or left woefully short. Even so, the 2012 champion was right where he wanted to be.

"If somebody told me I would have shot 2 over and still be tied for the lead, I would have taken it in a heartbeat," Watson said. "So I got a shot (today)."

Spieth fell in love with Augusta National the first time he saw it during a golfing trip in October. The Dallas native has leaned on two-time champion and fellow Texas Longhorn Ben Crenshaw in practice rounds, and he met with six-time champion Jack Nicklaus on Wednesday to learn as much as he could.

He calls the golfers who offer advice Mister. Mr. Nicklaus. Mr. Crenshaw.

What's the cutoff for calling a man mister? "Anybody older than me," Spieth says.

Will he call Watson mister today?

"For sure," says Spieth. "Just because it will mess with him."

Information from ESPN and was used in this report.


Bubba Watson 69-68-74 211 -5

Jordan Spieth 71-70-70 211 -5

Matt Kuchar 73-71-68 212 -4

Jonas Blixt 70-71-71 212 -4

Miguel Angel Jimenez 71-76-66 213 -3

Rickie Fowler 71-75-67 213 -3

Lee Westwood 73-71-70 214 -2

Jim Furyk 74-68-72 214 -2

Thomas Bjorn 73-68-73 214 -2


Fred Couples 71-71-73 215 -1

Justin Rose 76-70-69 215 -1

Today's weather: Low 79 in the morning to high 84 in the afternoon; wind up to 12 mph; 2 percent chance of rain

TV: 2 p.m., Ch. 10