AUGUSTA, Ga. — In a Masters longing for star power, 20-year-old Jordan Spieth put himself atop the leaderboard and 18 holes away from replacing Tiger Woods as the youngest player with a green jacket.
Spieth kept his poise on a lightning-quick Augusta National on Saturday with a 2-under 70 that gave him a share of the lead with error-prone Bubba Watson going into a final round loaded with possibilities.
Watson started the third round with a three-shot lead. After a chaotic day in which five players had at least a share of the lead at some point, this Masters is as wide open as when it started.
All eyes now turn to Spieth, a 20-year-old Texan who already has shown he can deliver big moments. He talked to himself constantly on the golf course, fell to his knees when he thought his tee shot was in trouble on the par-3 12th and lightly pumped his fist when even the short par putts dropped in the cup.
"Today was moving day," Spieth said. "And tomorrow is about seeing how I can control my game and emotions out on the golf course against guys that have even won here recently. So they have been in the position I haven't. Doesn't necessarily mean — I don't think — that they have an advantage in any way. I think that I'm very confident in the way things are going. And really looking forward to tomorrow."
Woods was 21 when he won his first Masters in 1997. Spieth would be the youngest major champion since Tom Creavy, who was a few months younger than Spieth when he won the 1931 PGA Championship.
But there's a lot of traffic on the road to a green jacket. Nine players were separated by three shots, and that includes Watson, who won the Masters two years ago and might have the advantage of getting his bad round out of the way Saturday.