Masters 2015 report: Jordan Spieth holds on but cracks begin to show as Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods apply the pressure

21-year-old Spieth will play alongside Justin Rose in his bid to win a first major of his career

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The Independent Online

Justin Rose stormed through the pack with five birdies in the last six holes to make Jordan Spieth blink at the Masters.

A third round 67 took Rose to 12 under par, still four behind Spieth’s tournament record for 54 holes, but sufficient to apply pressure in the final group today.

“The back nine was a lot of fun. The birdie on 18 gives me a lot of momentum going into tomorrow. Being in the last group is an advantage because you can see what you need to do,” Rose said.

 

“Jordan is playing phenomenal golf. He’s been in contention for four straight weeks. He’s done all the right things. It’s a big lead but Augusta National has a way of throwing up drama on the back nine.”

Indeed so. Huge leads are no guarantee of success in this parish. Greg Norman blew a six-shot advantage 19 years ago. A 21-year-old McIlroy failed to convert a four-shot lead in 2011, suggesting Spieth at the same age will need every ounce of his preternatural calm to endure today.

After a double bogey at the penultimate hole Spieth required the up and down of the year at the last to keep the gap at four. “It felt a little different today. Maybe I was a little anxious at times but I held it together with the putter,” Spieth said.

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Rose reeled off five birdies on the back-nine

Should he prevail Spieth will become only the second 21-year-old after Tiger Woods to claim a green jacket.  “I thought two under would be a good score for me today. Being four under at one point and closing two under is disappointing but it could have been worse. Very pleased with that up and down at the last.”

A year ago Spieth led at the same stage but failed to hold off the challenge of Bubba Watson on the final day. All he wanted, he said, was the chance to come back this year and make amends. He certainly has that.

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Spieth led at the same stage last year

Phil Mickelson had the late afternoon patrons buzzing with a 67 and will start in the penultimate group today five shots back alongside Charley Hoffman.

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy made hot starts but ultimately were too far back to exert the necessary pressure and after a pair of 68s set out ten behind in the third last group.

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