Old hands come together to shower praise on 'savvy' Spieth

Jordan Spieth may be just 20 but he is rated as such an extraordinary talent by his peers that no one would be surprised if he eclipsed Tiger Woods on Sunday by becoming the youngest Masters champion.

Spieth belied his tender age by shrugging off what he described as "crazy fast greens" to shoot a two-under-par 70 in Saturday's penultimate round at Augusta National to join fellow American Bubba Watson in a share of the lead on 211, five under.

Watson, former winner Fred Couples and world number seven Matt Kuchar all believe the debutant has what it takes to land the coveted green jacket and surpass Woods, who was 21 when he picked up the first of his four Masters crowns in 1997.

"He's young, nerves are no big deal to him," 2012 champion Watson told reporters. "He's a great player and a guy like that, he obviously has no fear.

"He's like a veteran, he started out at 15, I think, at tournaments like the Byron Nelson Classic and stuff. He's special...and he's such a great putter," said left-hander Watson. "Tomorrow is going to be a really hard day to try to win this but he's well qualified to do it."

Watson's Ryder Cup team mate Matt Kuchar, who registered a third-round 68 to lie one stroke off the pace on 212, referred to Spieth as "pretty amazing". "You see the likes of Fred Couples doing well and you chalk it up to a guy with a lot of experience playing this golf course," said Kuchar.


"So it's even more amazing to see what a guy like Jordan Spieth is doing. It's pretty amazing for a first timer."

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