Watson drops into Masters tie with young Spieth
By Larry Fine
AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Bubba Watson squandered an early five-stroke advantage and was caught by 20-year-old Jordan Spieth, who tied him for the lead at the end of a pressure-packed third round of the Masters on Saturday.
Spieth, playing with patience and discipline belying his years, posted a solid round of two-under-par 70 to match Watson at five-under-par 211 on a sunny day at Augusta National that baked the famed greens to lightning speeds.
Watson, the 2012 champion, needed to curl in a four-foot par-saving putt at the last to retain a share of the lead on a day in which he struggled around Augusta's notoriously contoured greens.
One stroke back were Matt Kuchar, who fired a 68, and Masters first-timer Jonas Blixt of Sweden (71).
Another shot adrift at 213 were American Rickie Fowler (67) and 50-year-old Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez, who had seven birdies and one bogey in a tournament low score of 66.
An eagle at the par-five second hole helped Watson improve his overnight lead to a five-shot cushion, but that disappeared under a spell of bogeys that turned the year's first major into a taut battle on a crowded leaderboard.
Three bogeys in four holes from the fourth dropped Watson into a tie with Blixt and Thomas Bjorn of Denmark at five under par with nine holes to play.
Ten players were bunched within two shots of the lead at that point, with Spieth emerging as co-leader after a round that included four birdies and two bogeys over the treacherously fast putting surfaces. Continued...